Winning Arafura Games Gold Medal Is “Special” Says Cole

Bec Cole says winning a gold medal at the Arafura Games is a “special” feeling, after her Spectres iAthletic side took home the final NBL 3×3 Pro Hustle event of the year in Darwin.

Cole, Australia’s number one ranked women’s 3×3 player, dominated across the weekend, with her class and talent shining. Her team of Keely Froling, Marena Whittle and Saraid Taylor took down Melbourne Boomers in the final, 21-10.

Along with taking home $12,000 in prize money and being crowned 2019 3×3 Pro Hustle champions, Spectres iAthletic players also received a gold Arafura Games medal, something Cole was grateful for.

“It’s such a great feeling and really special to be apart of the Arafura Games and get a gold medal,” Cole told ABC Grandstand.

“It’s been really great. The fact that we have been able to see the culture of Darwin and everyone here and what it is about, I think that’s really special.

“There’s some good competition here, so all around it has been really great.”

The love shared between Spectres iAthletic was on full display at the final buzzer of the grand final, with the squad bursting out in celebration, something Cole says is a by-product of the smaller teams in the 3×3 format.

“What I love about this is there’s only four of you, so it’s a really tight knit family, we have got each other’s back and you honestly are just playing with your best mates,” Cole said.

Cole’s attention now turns to the FIBA 3×3 World Cup qualifiers in Puerto Rico on May 4-5, as Australia looks to stamp their ticket to June’s tournament.

She is also a member of the 3×3 Asia Cup squad, which will take place on May 22-26, as Australia looks to build their 3×3 credentials ahead of next year’s Olympic Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, two tournaments Cole has her sights set on.

“Anytime you can wear the green and gold it’s so special,” Cole said.

“It’s been a dream of mine to go to an Olympics since I was 15, so the fact 3×3 is now in the Commonwealth Games, in the Olympics, it’s now being recognised quite seriously in Basketball Australia and the world.

“I just want to keep getting better at my game and I just love this. I play it once and it’s just so addicting.”

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