The Australian Boomers added 28 year old guard Jason Cadee to the training squad ahead of the exhibition games against Canada and the USA, but also the FIBA World Cup in August. The call up came after Ben Simmons withdrawal from the squad, and he spoke with The Pick and Roll soon after.
“It’s really exciting! While it was disappointing that I wasn’t selected originally I completely understood reasons for that decision as it’s a tough team to be a part of,” explained Cadee.
“Some of the guys I haven’t been around since I was 18 years old so I get to enjoy that whole experience now which will be great.”
Having played throughout the World Cup Asian Qualifiers, he was looking forward to rejoining his Boomers team mates.
“I’ve been around the Boomers for a long time and I really wanted to see what it was like with those NBA guys around. So being able to be a part of that camp now and see those guys with my own eyes is the most exciting part.”
Taking into account the fact he is coming into the squad late, he recognised that his role would be different within this squad compared to the Asian Qualifiers.
“Obviously there was space for another ball handler in the squad and somebody to fit in best with those NBA guys and starters. I feel something I bring to the squad is knowledge of the system, as I think I know it better than most on the squad. Just having that experience under Dre’s [head coach Andrej Lemanis] system from being part of both a Boomers and Bullets side.”
With that experience under Lemanis at both a international and club level, Cadee was positive of what his mentorship has meant to him.
“While I feel my basketball IQ has always been one of my strong points, its been easier to flow in and out of the system knowing what he expects and where everything is within his system and calls,” Cadee enthused.
Cadee appreciated some of that many are disappointed with the withdrawal of Australian superstar Simmons, but did not agree with the overwhelming sentiment of the public that the situation could have been handled better.
“I think its been handled really well, said Cadee. “Obviously people outside will only see what’s posted and announced, but I think there has been a lot that has gone into those decisions. Ben and his management have handled it really well, and in the end the decision will be a smart one.
“If we want to win a medal at the World Cup then Ben is going to be a big part of it whether he is involved or he is not. These exhibition games are the only ones that the squad will get to play together before the World Cup, so it’s the best decision for the way the group wants to play.”
The guard also dedicated his revival of form to his season with the Brisbane Capitals in the Queensland Basketball League.
“I really think being able to play in the QBL has let me get back to who I am a little bit, added Cadee.
“I think I may have lost my way a little last season in some aspects. Now I have put myself back into a place playing good basketball and a strong positive mental state heading into camp with the Boomers.”
The Australian Boomers will come together in Melbourne this week for a training camp.
Following the camp, 12 players will be selected to compete at the FIBA World Cup which runs from August 31 – September 15 in China.
That team will also compete in the international games against Canada Basketball in Perth on August 16 and 17 and USA Basketball in Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on August 22 and 24.