Horvat joins elite company

July 1, 2023 BY

Chantel Horvat (centre) was named the third Geelong local to represent Australia at this week's Asia Cup. Photo: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

GEELONG United Supercat Chantel Horvat became the third woman from Geelong to be selected to the Australian Opals ahead of the FIBA Asia Cup, which began this week.

Horvat joins Trish Fallon and Michelle Chandler as local representatives to make Australia’s national women’s basketball side.

Horvat’s selection meant she missed last weekend’s double-header against Mt Gambier and Eltham and will miss this weekend’s double-header against Melbourne and Frankston.

In an update posted by the Supercats, the 25-year-old said her first few days of the training camp were “phenomenal”.

“There’s been a lot of training; getting to know the offences, getting to learn the defence, meetings and stuff like that.

“I couldn’t fight back the tears [when I found out I was selected]; it was so exciting.

“Being in the squad was such an honour, but when I got the call that I’d made the team, I was in shock – I couldn’t believe it.

“It’s been like a dream since I got that phone call.”

Supercats head coach Matt Paton said he could not be prouder of Horvat’s selection.

“When an athlete gets to come home and in no way compromises their aspirations is something we’ve prided ourselves on at GUB.

“It’s a really nice nod to the work she’s done over the past couple of months with us, as well as since she left for college and started her pro career.”

Horvat and her Opals teammates took on the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Japan (which features fellow Supercat Monica Okoye) in the group stage.

“You are aware when you recruit players of a certain talent level that there’s a possibility they will be called up,” Paton said.

“We’re very proud of both Chantel and Monica.”

Chantel’s father Steve Horvat also represented his country, making 32 appearances for the Socceroos and selected in the Olyroos squad at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.