- Game Night
Perth Lynx star Natalie Burton has put up her last shots in Perth before jetting off to the Olympic Games.
Burton was named in the Australian Women’s Olympic Basketball team last week, alongside Lynx teammate Tessa Lavey.
Jumping on the plane to Rio will see Burton’s lifelong dream become a reality.
“I remember watching swimming events mostly as a child,” she said.
“I remember looking at the opening ceremonies and seeing the athletes there all happy and waving at the cameras and imagining what it would be like to have that opportunity, and now I do have that opportunity.
“I can’t wait.”
The Australians are the number two ranked basketball team in the world, and have a history of success at international tournaments – including the Olympics.
She believes the team can handle the expectation of success.
“We’re really strong, we have nine players from our World Championship team from two years ago, where we won bronze,” she said.
“We’ve had a lot of preparation, extra players from the WNBA will only make it an even better team. I think we’ll do good things over there.
“We know that to win a gold medal we have to beat every team that’s in our way, and our first game is against Brazil on their home court in the first game of the Olympics.
“I think every team is beatable at any given time. I think Brendan, our coach, has chosen the best team to beat the US.”
Before heading to Rio, the Australian Opals will play lead-up games against France, Canada and a blockbuster against the Americans at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Their first game at the Olympics will be against the host nation on 6 August.