The Australian Boomers team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup has been announced, with five NBL players in the squad of 12.
Reigning NBL MVP Andrew Bogut (Sydney Kings) headlines the NBL inclusions, joined by Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane Bullets), Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets), Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats) and Chris Goulding (Melbourne United).
The rest of the squad consists of Aron Baynes (Phoenix Suns), Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers), Xavier Cooks (SIG Strasbourg), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Jock Landale (Žalgiris Kaunas) and Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs).
The Boomers have just completed a training camp in Melbourne, which helped head coach Andrej Lemanis and his staff select the final team.
“I’m always so humbled in the Boomers environment,” Lemanis said in a statement.
“The commitment to the team and the pride each athlete shows in being a Boomer is a privilege to experience. As a nation, we are extremely fortunate to have players who are not only extremely skilled on the court, but who are also wonderful human beings.
“It is an exciting time for the program as we now settle on our team for China. There are a number of guys getting their first experience of a World Cup, which is exciting for them and for us as a team.
“Of course, we also have a solid core of veteran players who understand what it will take for us to succeed in China. As a staff, we’re really pleased with the mix of skill sets we have to utilise and look forward to watching it evolve over the next couple of weeks.
“It is also appropriate to recognise the players that missed selection on this particular occasion. The toughest part of this job is telling a player who cares about the program and has just given everything they have for the good of the team, that they haven’t been selected.
“The depth of Australian basketball also means that these guys are extremely skilled and often it simply comes down to team balance.
“As a team, we would also like to acknowledge the ‘heavy lifting’ of all those who participated in the World Cup Qualification stage – their hard work and commitment to the program allows us to have this opportunity to compete in the World Cup – for which we are all grateful.
“This is a focused and united team. I hope the Australian public come on the journey with us again just as they did in Rio.
“We play the right way, we play for each other, and we play for the name on the front of the singlet rather than the back. I think the public will enjoy the way we play and will be proud to call us ‘their team’.”
The team features two players who are set to make their national team debuts. Bolden and Cooks have been selected for the first time after impressing at the Boomers’ selection camp.
Bolden is fresh off completing his first season in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, and will don the Australian jersey for the first time since the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championships.
Meanwhile, Wollongong native Cooks will make also his debut for the Boomers in China. Cooks enjoyed a stellar season in Germany with Oliver Wurzburg before embarking on an NBA Summer League campaign with the Phoenix Suns.
Joining Bolden and Cooks as fresh faces in the team is Landale, who made his Boomers debut in February during the final FIBA World Cup qualifying window. Landale is currently signed to Lithuanian club Žalgiris Kaunas, while he also starred for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Summer League.
Six members of the 2016 Olympic team will return, with Baynes, Bogut, Dellavedova, Goulding, Ingles and Mills taking their places in the Boomers team.
Gliddon, Kay and Sobey will all play in their first major international tournament after playing key roles in helping the Boomers qualify for the World Cup.
The 2019 Australian Boomers team for the FIBA World Cup:
Aron Baynes – Phoenix Suns
Andrew Bogut – Sydney Kings
Jonah Bolden – Philadelphia 76ers
Xavier Cooks – SIG Strasbourg
Matthew Dellavedova – Cleveland Cavaliers
Cam Gliddon – Brisbane Bullets
Chris Goulding – Melbourne United
Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz
Nick Kay – Perth Wildcats
Jock Landale – Žalgiris Kaunas
Patty Mills – San Antonio Spurs
Nathan Sobey – Brisbane Bullets
The Australian Boomers warm-up schedule ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup:
August 16: Boomers vs. Canada Basketball at RAC Arena in Perth. Tickets available via Ticketek
August 17: Boomers vs. Canada Basketball at RAC Arena in Perth. Tickets available via Ticketek
August 22: Boomers vs. USA Basketball at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Tickets available via Ticketmaster
August 24: Boomers vs. USA Basketball at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Tickets available via Ticketmaster
The Australian Boomers schedule for the 2019 FIBA World Cup: (All times AEST)
September 1: Boomers vs. Canada, 5:30pm
September 3: Boomers vs. Senegal, 5:30pm
September 5: Boomers vs. Lithuania, 9:30pm
September 7 & 9: Round of 16
September 10 & 11: Quarter-Finals
September 13: Semi-Finals
September 15: Medal Games