Basketball World Cup squad named15 July 2014
BASKETBALL: Some of the game’s biggest names have been included in the Australian 17-man squad for the road to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, tipping off in late August.
Australian Boomers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis said he is looking forward to the upcoming camp in late July and believes the team-first ethos of his squad will serve them well in Spain.
“I’m very pleased with the group of players we have coming into camp,” Lemanis said.
“We have a good mix of experience and youth and I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together. I know that all of us still feel disappointed for Patty (Mills) and wish him all the best in his recovery – but as a group, there is still belief and confidence that we will perform well at the World Cup.
“I know we will have a team that plays the right way – where teammates will support each other and play for one another – it is the Australian way.
“It is always an honour to represent your country – we are all looking forward to the journey ahead.”
Fresh from winning the NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs, Aron Baynes headlines a squad full of international quality and exciting youth, hoping to guide the Boomers to their first major tournament medal.
Just days after becoming only the second Australian to be taken in the top five of an NBA Draft, 18-year-old Dante Exum of the Utah Jazz has been named along with fellow teenage prodigy, 17-year-old Ben Simmons.
The two young guns got their first taste of Boomers action in the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships and will be eager to represent their country on basketball’s biggest stage.
Queenslander Cameron Bairstow, fresh from being drafted by the Chicago Bulls, joins Matthew Dellavedova, coming off a great NBA rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with NBA aspirants Chris Goulding and Brock Motum among the 17 players.
Exum, Bairstow, Dellavedova, Goulding and Motum will all be in action starting this week as the NBA Summer League gets underway in Las Vegas.
Treble-winning playmaker Joe Ingles headlines the European contingent in the squad, coming off a remarkable season with Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel that saw him net the Euroleague title to go with league and cup double.
Lemanis said the success of our players abroad brings added excitement to the national team program.
“We now not only have players in the world’s best seasonal competitions, but they are playing significant roles with their teams,” Lemanis said.
“This is yet another reflection of our strength as a basketball nation and the development our players receive through our high performance pathways” Lemanis said.
European-based veterans Brad Newley and David Anderson, who share five Olympics and three World Cup appearances between them, are joined by fellow continental star Ryan Broekhoff.
After missing the bulk of the European season through injury, former NBA centre Nathan Jawai returns to the national team program, hoping to be a part of his first major tournament for the Boomers.
Lemanis said Jawai’s commitment to his rehabilitation and the Boomers program has been impressive.
“I have been very impressed with Nate's commitment to be part of the national team,” Lemanis said.
“He has put in a lot of work over the past six months – he moved to Canberra, has been working out six days a week doing both on court and off court sessions – to give himself this opportunity.”
A breakout Sino-Australia Challenge series against China has opened the door for Melbourne United crowd favourite Lucas Walker and Sydney Kings off-season signing Angus Brandt, with the duo joining fellow NBL stars Damian Martin, Mark Worthington and Adam Gibson in the extended squad.
Lemanis said the efforts of Walker and Brandt against China proved they have something to offer the national team.
“Every year the Sino Challenge series produces some good news stories and is a great opportunity for players to demonstrate how they contribute within the Boomer environment,” Lemanis said.
“Both Angus and Lucas showed that they have some skills to offer in the Boomer environment that is deserving of an opportunity at the next camp.”
The Boomers will assemble in Canberra at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence (CoE) from 23-29 July with Lemanis and his coaching staff to name the final 12-man team prior to the conclusion of camp.
From there the team will depart for Europe on a three-week pre-World Cup tour playing games across the continent in preparation for the opening game for the tournament against Slovenia in the early hours of Sunday morning 31 August AEST.
Based in the Canary Island city of Gran Canaria, the Boomers will also face Angola, Korea, Lithuania and Mexico, playing five games in six days prior to the knockout phase.
The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held in Spain from 30 August to 15 September. Fans won’t miss a minute of the action from Spain with all Australian Boomers games to be broadcast LIVE (AEST) and in full on ABC2 as part of their extensive 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup coverage.
Australian Boomers Extended Squad – 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup
David Andersen – Strasbourg (France)
Cameron Bairstow – Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Aron Baynes – San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Angus Brandt – Sydney Kings (NBL)
Ryan Broekhoff – Besiktas (Turkey)
Matthew Dellavedova – Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Dante Exum – Utah Jazz (NBA)
Adam Gibson – Adelaide 36ers (NBL)
Chris Goulding – Melbourne United (NBL)
Joe Ingles – Maccabi Tel-Aviv (Israel)
Nathan Jawai – Galatasaray (Turkey)
Damian Martin – Perth Wildcats (NBL)
Brock Motum – Bologna (Italy)
Brad Newley – Gran Canaria (Spain)
Ben Simmons – Montverde Academy (USA)
Lucas Walker – Melbourne United (NBL)
Mark Worthington – Melbourne United (NBL)