THE road to the 2014 FIBA Under 17 World Championship for Women begins this week for Penrith's Tahlia Tupaea and her teammates in the Jayco Australian Under 17 Women's squad, as they come together in Canberra for the first camp of 2014.
WNBL grand final head coach Chris Lucas (Townsville Fire) will lead the 16-player squad, beginning with a five-day camp at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence.
The FIBA Under 17 World Championship for Women will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia, from June 28 to July 6.
The Australians have been drawn in Group C, along with Japan and host nation Mexico, with the three preliminary round games to be played to determine teams for the knockout stages of the tournament.
Named last month, the squad sports an exciting group of rising stars, many of whom played key roles in securing passage to the World Championships by sweeping New Zealand in last year's FIBA Oceania Under 17 Championships in Melbourne.
With the tournament just over three months away, preparations will increase following the Canberra camp, with the team to tour China in late April and early May.
It will be a busy schedule for the young team, with nine games scheduled in 11 days as part of the four-nations tournament, tipping off against China on April 24.