Australia are the 2016 U17 women's basketball world champs.

Australia – 2016 U17 women’s basketball world champs. Photo: FIBA

The Australian Under-17 women’s basketball team have made history after winning the FIBA U17 World Championships in Spain.

 

Previously, the Australian Sapphires had never placed higher than 5th at the U17 Worlds. This year, they came away with gold medals and an average winning margin of 23 points.

 

Along the way, the Sapphires handed the USA their first ever loss at U17 level, breaking their 28-game winning streak and beating them 73-60 in the semi-final.

 

A sizeable 62-38 win over Italy in the final sealed the tournament for the Sapphires on Sunday July 3rd.

 

The World Championship win came with additional achievements for the Sapphires. Victorian Centre Ezi Magbegor was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. She made the All-Star Five along with fellow Victorian Monique Conti, and Sapphires captain Jasmine Simmons (no relation to Ben Simmons!).

 

The success comes during a victorious time in Australian women’s basketball. At the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, the U19 teams won bronze medals, as did the Opals in 2014.

 

A huge congrats from Blackchrome Sportswear to the Australian Sapphires, and here’s to women’s basketball!!