Boomers history 2023 World Cup edition I: The veterans
As the Boomers head into the FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup, we catch up on some of Australia's current top male players in the green and gold.
The Australian Boomers are heading into the FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup off the back of a landmark bronze medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was a seminal moment for several long-time stalwarts, who have dedicated numerous offseasons to the program. Here is a brief history of several returning veterans this tournament, as the Australian men’s basketball national team aim to break their medal drought at the FIBA World Cup.
A special mention goes out to three-time Olympian Matthew Dellavedova, who unfortunately did not make the final twelve-man roster. The 32 year old has been a loyal servant to the Boomers ever since his senior debut in 2009, when he was a 19 year old incoming freshman at St. Mary’s College of California. Dellavedova stepped up to the mark at the 2012 London Olympics, averaging 7.3 points and 4.5 assists in close to 30 minutes each night. At the following Olympic tournament, in 2016, Dellavedova was coming off an NBA championship and had his best tournament as a Boomer. He posted averages of 8.9 points and 7.0 assists while shooting 51.9% from the field and 46.7% from beyond the arc. Delly’s chemistry with big men like Andrew Bogut was particularly on display at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Dellavedova was a starting caliber player right up until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where he averaged 14 minutes for the bronze medal-winning Aussies. That tournament marked a changing of the guard, with the rise of young athletic guards like Matisse Thybulle, Danté Exum and Josh Green. Dellavedova has unfortunately fallen down the pecking order at this point, but don’t write him off - the scrappy veteran will be back with a vengeance in the 2023-24 NBL season, where he will suit up for Melbourne United. Stay tuned for a tribute piece about one of Australia’s greatest ever point guards.
As a longtime Boomer, and the leader of Australia’s bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics, Patty Mills needs no introduction. He first represented Australia on the world stage at the annual Nike Hoop Summit, way back in 2006. Mills came away with eight points and six assists against some of the world’s best young players, and subsequently suited up for the Emus at the 2007 FIBA Under-19 World Championships. The talented guard averaged 14.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists for an Aussie side that finished fifth, and earned his senior Boomers debut the very same year.
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