Natalie Stafford during an Olympics preliminary game.
Natalie Stafford during an Olympics preliminary game. Christian Petersen

Natalie conquers world

NATALIE Stafford joins the list of Central Queensland-bred stars competing at the London Olympics.

Stafford, formerly Hughes, is playing for Great Britain.

She started her basketball career in Gladstone at the age of eight. Her talent was soon recognised and she went on to play for the Rockhampton Cyclones, before moving to the United States to play college basketball.

On the Australian Hoops basketball website several years ago, Stafford said: "I started playing basketball in Australia around the third grade, when I followed my friend down to a weekly event called Friday night basketball. "From that point on, I fell in love with the game."

From 1998, Stafford played in the WNBL for the Sydney Flames and was a member of the Australian Opals squad in 2001-2003.

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