Having got a scholarship to the AIS in 2009, Tessa Lavey played her first three seasons in the WNBL for the Canberra based side. She won the WNBL title with the Bendigo Spirit in 2014 and played for Australia at the World Championships in the same year where Australia won bronze. Lavey would get her chance to make her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games as Australia looked to keep up their medal-winning run.
Australia lined up against hosts Brazil in their opening match of Rio 2016 and after being down ten after the first quarter the side fought back to secure a 18 point win. A close victory over Turkey was followed up with a dominant 18 point win over France before coming back to defeat Japan 92-86. The Australian side rounded out the group stage with a victory over Belarus to move through to the quarter-finals undefeated and set up a clash with Serbia. The match was back and forth the whole way with the Serbians claiming a two point lead with just 10 seconds to go. The Aussies had the chance to level the match but couldn’t score as the side's run of five straight women’s Olympic basketball medals came to an end.