Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss has backed three of his rising stars to ride a gold medal wave into the WNBL season and boost the team's hopes of breaking a finals hoodoo.
Capitals Lauren Sherf, Abbey Wehrung and Keely Froling helped the emerging Australian Opals win gold at the world university games in Taipei on Tuesday morning.
The Opals beat Japan 85-76 in the final in a timely boost for the Capitals before the WNBL campaign starts in October.
"International experience always helps when coming back to play domestically, so I just think the confidence they will take out of being major minute players can only benefit the us," Goriss said.
"All three of them are going to be important parts of our team, its great for those three girls to go away and represent Australia to win a gold medal."
"Im sure they are going to have plenty of confidence coming into this season, fired up and in great shape ready to go."
The Capitals have rebuilt their roster as the club aims to break back into the finals for the first time since 2011.
Goriss has put his faith in a number young guns and is confident they can rise to the challenge to force their way into the top four.
Scherf is one of those on the rise and she scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, had four steals and made four blocks in a stellar effort in the final.
???"I love playing sport because of the people I meet and the fun I have playing so to have won a gold medal is just a blessing on top of that," Scherf said.
"I'm just so happy for myself and all of the girls - we have a gold medal and I have no words on how to describe it."
Goriss, who is also a senior Australian Opals assistant coach, said the success in Taipei was proof of a strong development pathway for junior girls.
"It is exciting for the future of womens basketball in Australia," Goriss said.
"Most of the girls that are in that emerging Opals team as well as the three that are apart of the Capitals are on a depth chart with the Opals.
"It was great for that team [emerging Opals] to get a win and most of those girls are future Opals."
???The Capitals start their WNBL season against Bendigo in Canberra on October 6.