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Here's Charles Barkley and Australia's Shane Heal Getting Into It Ahead of the 1996 Olympics

By Stephen Douglas
Charles Barkley and Shane Heal in 1996.
Charles Barkley and Shane Heal in 1996.
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Shyla Heal was the eighth overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Heal, 19, was drafted by the Chicago Sky out of the WNBL in Australia. Her father, Shane Heal, was also a pretty good player, representing Australia in the '92, '96, '00 and '04 Olympics. Ahead of the '96 Olympics, Heal and Australia faced Dream Team 2 in an exhibition game in Utah and things got heated between Heal and Charles Barkley. About 25 years later they went at it again from different sides of the world thanks to television and Twitter.

When Barkley saw that an Australian named Heal was drafted he asked if she was related to Shane Heal and congratulated him upon hearing the news. Neither guy had forgotten as Barkley said Heal was lucky to be alive on TNT and Heal responded on Twitter.

Here's the indicent they were talking about. Barkley was having a frustrating game and Heal had hit a few shots in a row, leading Barkley to run right through Heal's landing area as he made another three-pointer.

Team USA blew out Australia, but Heal hit eight threes. Barkley and Heal had to be separated, but they did talk briefly after the game and both walked away smiling.

Heal ended up playing in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs to go along with his impressive career in Australia.

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