Ben Simmons continues to reinforce his commitment to the Australian Boomers.
Speaking in an interview with FIBA to promote the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Simmons explained the pride he takes in representing his nation on the international stage.
“I think the best feeling about it all is just knowing that you’re representing your whole country. That’s the special part about it.
“When I was 15 I got called up to the Under 17’s National Squad. It was a great experience for me at a young age and you know, I got to represent my country which has always been a dream of mine.”
Simmons, who made his Australian senior national team debut against New Zealand in the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship, looms as a key contributor for the Boomers ahead of next year’s World Cup in China.
With the Boomers looking to rebound from the heartbreak of a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Simmons would be a valuable addition to Andrej Lemanis’ squad.
Simmons is widely accepted as Australia’s most talented player, and his presence will offer a tremendous boost to the national program.
Playing for the Boomers is also a dream come true for Simmons.
“I think if you dream,” Simmons explained, “you’ve gotta dream for what you want. For me that was representing Australia.”
The 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year has yet to publicly confirm he will be a part of the Boomers squad for the tournament in China. It is hoped the allure of a potential podium finish, along with two warm up games against Team USA in Melbourne, will speak to Simmons’ national pride, just as it has for the nation of Australia.
“Having the opportunity to represent your country doesn’t come around often, so whether it’s every time or that one time, I think everyone remembers the time they spent representing their country and how special it was."
2019 is on track to be the biggest year in the history of the Boomers program. Two games against Team USA in August will provide the perfect litmus test ahead of two massive international tournaments. The first step is China for the World Cup, followed by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo 12 months later.
The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup begins on August 31 2019 in China.