Boomers World Cup squad brimming with NBA talent

The 18-man squad tasked with trying to deliver Australia its first ever World Cup medal has been named in Melbourne this morning.

Following a basketball season that broke viewership and engagement records both at home and abroad, there was intense competition for spots.

Seven players from the team that finished 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympics return, whilst nine players with NBA experience have also been included in the squad as the team led by head coach Andrej Lemanis takes aim for a first ever men's senior medal at a major event.

Lemanis spoke of his excitement at the group that will travel to China for the 2019 edition of FIBA's basketball World Cup.

"No doubt, we have the opportunity to put a great team on the floor...that's exciting."

"I feel extremely blessed to have the honour and privilege to work with the best players in the country."

In a boost for the Boomers' medal prospects, Ben Simmons' name is now confirmed in the squad, after the Philadelphia 76ers All-Star took to social media last week to signal his intention to play in the World Cup. Joe Ingles, Aaron Baynes, Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova have also been included, alongside Warriors and Sydney Kings centre Andrew Bogut, Philadelphia forward Jonah Bolden, Minnesota Timberwolves' Mitch Creek, and Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Nathan Sobey, Nick Kay, Chris Goulding and Mitch McCarron are all NBL stalwarts whose efforts in the World Cup qualifiers have been rewarded, whilst Todd Blanchfield who also played in the Asian Qualifiers is a lhas likely been included as a replacement for Ryan Broekhoff, who will miss the tournament for the birth of his first child.

From the European front, Jock Landale (Serbia) and Brock Motum (Turkey) round out the squad.

Perhaps more intriguing than the inclusions in the group, are the omissions - of which there are a handful.

Most notably, Detroit Pistons big man Thon Maker was not included in the 17-man squad, reportedly having withdrawn his name to focus on improving his game in the NBA off-season. Isaac Humphries, who debuted for the Atlanta Hawks late in the NBA regular season, and Mangok Mathiang (ex-Charlotte Hornet) who is currently starring in Italy, were both left out despite making appearances in the Asian Qualifiers when they were available for selection. In addition, versatile forward Xavier Cooks who has had a breakout rookie season in Germany was left out of the extended squad. The ommission of these players is likely a direct result of Australia's depth of quality big men.

EDIT: Xavier Cooks has since been added due to the withdrawal of Thon Maker to make it an 18-man squad.

EDIT: Xavier Cooks has since been added due to the withdrawal of Thon Maker to make it an 18-man squad.

As was widely expected, Dante Exum (injury), Josh Green (injury) and Ryan Broekhoff (family) were not included.

The Boomers squad will convene in Melbourne at the beginning of August for a selection camp before moving to Perth and returning to Melbourne for blockbuster warm-up games against Canada and the United States.

New Basketball Australia CEO Jerril Richter said that the squad announcement, as well as the lead-in games against world-class opponents, was a major occasion in the national sporting landscape.

“This squad announcement is an exciting step for the Boomers as well as basketball in Australia as we get closer to the four historic warm-up games in Perth and Melbourne.”

“For young kids being able to see their sporting heroes on their home court is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and the quality opposition we have attracted in Canada and USA Basketball shows the level of respect that Australian basketball has now earned on the international stage.”

The Australian Boomers Squad for the 2019 FIBA World Cup

Deng ADEL | Cleveland (NBA)

Aron BAYNES | Boston (NBA)

Todd BLANCHFIELD | Illawarra

Andrew BOGUT | Sydney / Golden State (NBA)

Jonah BOLDEN | Philadelphia(NBA)

Xavier COOKS | Wurzburg (Germany)

Mitch CREEK | Minnesota (NBA) / South East Melbourne

Matthew DELLAVEDOVA | Cleveland (NBA)

Cameron GLIDDON | Brisbane

Chris GOULDING | Melbourne

Joe INGLES | Utah (NBA)

Nicholas KAY | Perth

Jock LANDALE | Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)

Mitch MCCARRON | Melbourne

Patty MILLS | San Antonio (NBA)

Brock MOTUM | Anadolu Efes (Turkey)

Ben SIMMONS | Philadelphia (NBA)

Nathan SOBEY | Brisbane

Australian Boomers warm-up schedule:

August 16: Boomers vs Canada Basketball / RAC Arena in Perth

August 17: Boomers vs Canada Basketball / RAC Arena in Perth

August 22: Boomers vs USA Basketball / Marvel Stadium in Melbourne

August 24: Boomers vs USA Basketball / Marvel Stadium in Melbourne

2019 FIBA World Cup Schedule (times TBC):

September 1: Boomers vs Canada

September 3: Boomers vs Senegal

September 5: Boomers vs Lithuania

September 7 & 9: Round of 16

September 10 & 11: Quarter-Finals

September 13: Semi-Finals

September 15: Medal Games