The 2016 edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament (AST) commences on 26 March 2016 in Mannheim and Viernheim, Germany. Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence head coach Adam Caporn will take some of Australia’s best U18 talent to Europe as they look to secure a medal.
For Australian head coach Adam Caporn, he returns to a tournament that he played in back in 2000; a competition in which Caporn and Australia placed fourth. In speaking exclusively with The Pick and Roll, Caporn spoke glowingly of the opportunity the tournament presents, both to him and the next generation of Australian talent.
“It is a dream of mine [to coach Australia], and I am very passionate about the program we have,” explained Caporn. “I am super excited that Australia is back in [the AST] to receive the opportunity [to play] that others have also received before them.”
The majority of the team comprises the current Centre of Excellence squad, however a few additions have been made to cover for injuries and ensure a competitive team.
“Unfortunately Jack White was too old, while Angus Glover is currently recovering from injury,” added Caporn. “Pretty much everyone else is going, and it is quite a new group. Tom Fullarton is returning which is good news. But we are a new, young and exciting group – exciting in the sense that the group is well very rounded. I like the character, and toughness we have, and we are really in a good place as a group.”
“We are young and inexperienced [at this level]. We have a range of ages, and we will have some young players, 1999 and 2000 guys as part of the team.”
2016 Australian Emus
|Mate Colina||20.05.1999||208 cm||Center||BA CoE|
|Isaac White||22.06.1998||182 cm||Point Guard||South Australia|
|Kyle Zunic||04.03.1999||184 cm||Point Guard||BA CoE|
|Matthew Kenyon||08.02.1998||195 cm||Shotting Guard||BA CoE|
|Tom Fullarton||23.02.1999||200 cm||Shooting Guard||BA CoE|
|Callum Dalton||04.05.2000||204 cm||Center||BA CoE|
|Jacob Rigoni||10.12.1998||197 cm||Small Forward||South Australia|
|Lat Mayen Nai||16.08.1998||200 cm||Shooting Guard||BA CoE|
|Will Magnay||10.06.1998||204 cm||Power Forward||BA CoE|
|Samson Froling||10.02.2000||207 cm||Power Forward||BA CoE|
|Andrew Ferguson||17.09.1998||211 cm||Center||BA CoE|
|Samuel Short||11.02.1998||196 cm||Shooting Guard||Victoria|
With such a young team, Caporn clearly outlined the team’s objective in taking part in the world-class tournament.
“We go there to compete; compete for pride and our country,” shared Caporn. “However our primary objective is to get better and give the players an opportunity to experience playing international basketball.”
“It is a great tournament, and it will be a really great life and learning experience for the team, and yet another chance to develop. It has played a large role in the development of [Australian] players previously, many have gone onto bigger and better things.
Australia has a rich history success in participating at the Albert Schweitzer tournament, and is just one of just 11 countries to have won the event. Mitch Creek was named Most Valuable Player as he guided Australia to the gold medal in 2010, a tournament in which he was joined in the all-tournament five by Jackson Aldridge and Hugh Greenwood on a loaded team. David Andersen also earned MVP honours back in 1998 when Australia claimed silver behind Spain, a tournament in which Bradley Sheridan also featured prominently. With two bronze medals in 1994 and 2008, Australia returns to the event for the first time since finishing 9th in 2012.
Germany will be joined by reigning champion Italy, France, Greece, Serbia and Turkey as Europe’s representatives in the tournament. 10-time event winner the USA (North America), Argentina (South America), Egypt (Africa), China and Japan (Asia) will also be participating alongside Australia as Oceania’s representative in the field of 12 nations. The tournament will feature two groups of six teams, following which the top two teams of each group will progress to the semi finals.
Australia has been grouped in Pool A with Serbia, Argentina, Turkey, Germany and Japan. They have been scheduled to play the opening game of the tournament against Serbia, with their full schedule outlined below.
Australian Emus’ Schedule
- 18 March: Depart for Germany
- 20 March – 26 March: Mini camp / exhibition games leading up to AST
- 27 March: AST – Mannheim, Australia vs Serbia (12:00am)
- 28 March: AST – Mannheim, Japan vs Australia (2:15am)
- 29 March: AST – Mannheim, Australia vs Argentina (2:15am)
- 31 March: AST – Mannheim, Turkey vs Australia (2:45am)
- 1 April: AST – Mannheim, Australia vs Germany (5:00am)
(all dates and times converted for AEDT)