On Monday morning, Basketball Australia announced the Australian Boomers roster for Brisbane's upcoming two-game series in February 2020, and young talent will be the theme for this team.
Due to the timing of this first qualification window, players in the US and European leagues were not available, as well as domestic NBL players preparing for the postseason. The roster, which will be led by veterans in Nathan Sobey and Cameron Gliddon --both of whom participated in last year's World Cup tournament-- is primarily composed of players from the Illawarra Hawks, Brisbane Bullets, South East Melbourne Phoenix.
This iteration of the Boomers team includes Jason Cadee, who was awarded Best Sixth Man on Sunday's NBL awards, sharpshooting forward Todd Blanchfield, centre Matt Hodgson, defensive swingman Daniel Grida, as well as first-time Boomers in Angus Glover, Sam Froling, Sunday Dech, Kyle Adnam, and Dane Pineau. Pineau was a strong contender for the NBL's Most Improved award, and Adnam has been an outstanding performer as a reserve on the Phoenix. Dech, following Next Star LaMelo Ball's absence, has stepped up and performed admirably in the later half of the season.
Included on the roster, is a Melbourne prospect from the NBA Global Academy, which is housed at Canberra's Centre of Excellence - Josh Giddey, son of NBL legend Warrick Giddey. Giddey, who will also suit up as a senior Boomer for the first time, recently attended the NBA's Basketball Without Borders camp in Chicago over the All-Star Weekend. He is a 6'8 point guard who is rapidly gaining attention on college recruitment circles, and a talented prospect who could be bound for the NBA - he is yet to decide his next destination, be it US college or turning pro.
“We have selected twelve exceptional representatives for this qualifying window and looking forward to quickly coalescing into a team befitting the honour of representing Australia," Boomers head coach, Will Weaver said. “The depth of talent in Australian basketball means these decisions are never easy but it is a great privilege to know the commitment of every player that made themselves available.”
Weaver will be supported on the coaching bench for these two games by Brisbane Bullets assistant coach CJ Bruton and Adam Caporn, head coach of Basketball Australia’s CoE. Caporn was also part of the coaching roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Boomers are competing in Group C alongside Hong Kong, Guam and New Zealand, with each team playing a home and away game during the qualifying phase. The qualifiers will be played across three windows set for February 2020, November 2020 and February 2021, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the FIBA Asia Cup Finals in 2021. The games in Brisbane will mark the first time the Australian men’s national basketball team has played in Brisbane since 2012.
Australian Boomers FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers schedule
20 February 2020: Australia vs New Zealand, Nissan Arena Brisbane, 6.30pm (local)
23 February 2020: Australia vs Hong Kong, Nissan Arena Brisbane, 12.30pm (local)
2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, first window: Australian Boomers 12-man roster
NAMECLUBKyle AdnamSouth East Melbourne PhoenixTodd BlanchfieldIllawarra HawksJason CadeeBrisbane BulletsCameron GliddonBrisbane BulletsSunday DechIllawarra HawksSam FrolingIllawarra HawksJosh GiddeyNBA Global AcademyAngus GloverIllawarra HawksDaniel GridaIllawarra HawksMatt HodgsonBrisbane BulletsDane PineauSouth East Melbourne PhoenixNathan SobeyBrisbane Bullets