Boomers Announce Squad For 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
A 17-man squad has been announced for the Australian Boomers from which the final team for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, held between August 31 – September 15, will be selected.
That team will also compete in the four warm-up games prior to the FIBA World Cup against Canada in Perth on August 16 and 17 and USA Basketball in Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on August 22 and 24.
Following a record year in the NBA in terms of Australian representation, nine NBA players have been named in the squad as well as seven players that led the Boomers to a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I always have a mixture of emotions when a squad is announced,” said Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.
“No doubt, we have the opportunity to put a great team on the floor and that’s exciting. Working with the best players in the country is such an honour and privilege – I feel extremely blessed to again have this opportunity.
“However, the depth of talent in Australian basketball means that some tough decisions are made at this point and some very good players miss out. It is especially true on this occasion given the heavy lifting done by so many NBL based players during the World Cup qualification system.
“Having developed a bond with each and every player that has been part of the team over the past two years, it is with a heavy heart that every player who represented Australia in the qualification process will not be given the opportunity to attend camp.
“The short preparation time we have means that we had to limit the number of players attending camp so that we can use the camp for team development, not just selection.”
Nick Kay, Mitch McCarron and Nathan Sobey represented Australia in ten of the 12 FIBA World Cup qualifiers, leading the Boomers to advance as the number one ranked country in Asia.
They will be aiming to make their first FIBA World Cup team while more experienced players such as Aron Baynes and Joe Ingles have the chance to feature in their third consecutive tournament and Andrew Bogut looks to return to the FIBA World Cup for the first time since 2006.
“The group, as always, needs to remain fluid as circumstances can change quickly,” added Lemanis.
“Opportunities often open up unexpectedly and this is where the luxury of depth and the wonderful attitude each and every player has to the Boomers, holds us in good stead.”
The Boomers squad will come together in Melbourne in early August for the selection camp before heading to Perth and returning to Melbourne for their warm-up games.
“This squad announcement is an exciting step for the Boomers as well as basketball in Australia as we get closer to the four historic warm-up games in Perth and Melbourne,” said Basketball Australia CEO, Jerril Rechter.
“For young kids being able to see their sporting heroes on their home court is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and the quality opposition we have attracted in Canada and USA Basketball shows the level of respect that Australian basketball has now earned on the international stage.”
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula was also thrilled for the two games in Melbourne this August between the Boomers and USA Basketball.
“Our calendar of major events is worth $1.8 billion to the economy every year and attractions such as the Boomers vs. USA Basketball blockbusters help to keep Victoria ahead of the pack, he said.
“The prospect of watching Ben Simmons and his Australian mates take on the giants of USA Basketball at Marvel Stadium has captivated fans around the country.”
“Our preparation as a squad starts in August and we embrace the challenge before us,” added Lemanis.
“We are excited about the team we will have in China for the FIBA World Cup and the opportunities that lie ahead.”