Ezi Magbegor, World Champs Teammates Reunite at 3×3 Hustle

The last time Ezi Magbegor, Monique Conti and Jasmine Simmons all played together they won a gold medal for Australia at the under-17 FIBA world championships.

This Sunday they will reunite to play for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in the 3×3 Pro Hustle at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay with Magbegor coming into the side in place of Maddie Garrick.

Magbegor is one of the rising stars of Australian basketball winning the tournament MVP during that famed 2016 gold medal win before joining Canberra Capitals where she won the Betty Watson rookie of the year award this past WNBL season.

US college powerhouse University of Connecticut Huskies heavily recruited Magbegor but earlier this year she opted to join the Boomers and play professionally with her three-year deal starting this coming season.

The 18 year old centre won a gold medal with the Australian Opals at the Commonwealth Games and is spending the winter with Diamond Valley Eagles in SEABL while also pushing her claims for a place in the Opals side for the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain in September.

So when Boomers chairman Tony Hallam asked her to join the club’s 3×3 side, she jumped at the chance to team-up with her good friends.

“I don’t think I have played with them both since the under-17 worlds a couple of years ago,” Magbegor said this week.

“I have played against Jaz and Mon in SEABL over the past two weeks, they are both in good touch, both shot a few threes in my face during those games so it will be good play with them again.”

Both Conti and Simmons are rising stars in their own rights with Conti impressing during two WNBL seasons with the Boomers and an AFLW season with 2018 premiers Western Bulldogs while Simmons has been at the BA Centre of Excellence in Canberra and has committed to US college side Oregon State.

McKinnon Big V State Championship import Ariel Thomas will also join the Boomers side for this Sunday’s Pro Hustle.

After the Boomers had two runner up finishes in recent Pro Hustle events in Melbourne, Magbegor helps she can push her club to a first place finish and the $10,000 first prize.

“Jaz and I have always played well together, we both went to the COE as 15 year olds and ever since our first couple of training together we have clicked,” Magbegor said.

“And I could say the same with Mon as I’ve played with her a few times over the years and hopefully that chemistry is still there with them both.

“Maddie, Mon and Jaz have done a wonderful job and hopefully we can go that one step further this weekend.”

Magbegor did some 3×3 training in recent years and despite being a 193-centimetre centre, she believes her athleticism and height can be an advantage.

“Playing 3×3 helps your game and your ability to take on your defender one on one,” Magbegor said.

“In Canberra we focused on that for a couple of months, did trainings on 3×3 and played games so it was fun, it definitely is a change up from traditional five on five but it helps you transfer your skills into games.

“I think I adjusted pretty well to 3×3 and it made me a better decision maker, it is a bit foreign at the start as being a big man you don’t usually get out on the perimeter or take people off the dribble but I think was really good for me and I look forward to playing on the weekend.”

Magbegor hopes to one day play in the WNBA and her schedule this weekend will in some ways mirror that fly in, fly out lifestyle as she is schedule to play for Diamond Valley against Geelong in the SEABL on Saturday before flying to Sydney to play in the Pro Hustle on Sunday.

“We have a game Saturday night in Geelong so I’m flying up to Sydney straight after the game,” Magbegor said.

“I’ll have to do some recovery on Saturday night and then get straight back out on the court on Sunday.”

The 3×3 Pro Hustle in Sydney starts on Sunday at 9am with tickets available here and live streaming on NBL TV.

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