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David Patrick added to the Boomers coaching staff, will Ben Simmons follow?
In the build up to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, Australian Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis added David Patrick as an assistant coach.
“I am honoured to be joining the Boomers coaching staff for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and Tokyo Olympic campaign,” said Patrick in the official release.
“Coach Lemanis and his staff have done a magnificent job in their preparation and I am hopeful I can help them achieve continued success. Australian basketball is at an all-time high and has made its imprint globally.”
Patrick has an extensive coaching resume based in the US, including assistant roles at Nicholls, Saint Mary’s, LSU and TCU, before debuting as a head coaching for UC Riverside this past season. He also enjoyed a stint as a scout for the Houston Rockets in the NBA.
His role for the Boomers will be to assist with game preparation, including scouting teams they will face at the World Cup. Lemanis explained that he was pleased to add someone the calibre of Patrick to his coaching team.
"I’m really pleased that we have been able to add David to our coaching staff. He is a very experienced coach who will bring his own unique talents to the group.
“David has certainly done the hard yards of coaching and has worked his way to be the head coach of his own College program which reflects the wonderful skills he has as a person and coach.
“He is also extremely passionate about the success of Australian basketball and is committed to helping the team be the best it can be. His experience, values and skill set are a significant addition to the team.”
With the support of UC Riverside, Patrick could also prove to be more than just another important piece of the coaching staff. He also just so happens to be the godfather of current Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
As an assistant at LSU, Patrick was integral to luring the then 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year to the Tigers before Simmons went on to be selected as the number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. His addition to the coaching roster could well sway Simmons to suit up for the Boomers in 2019.
As reported by Ben Mallis in February, Ben Simmons will soon be eligible to receive the biggest contract ever given to an Australian athlete. Whether he receives it or not, could determine his status for the Australian Boomers’ 2019 World Cup campaign.
Simmons will qualify for a five-year maximum contract extension from the Philadelphia 76ers this July. Current NBA projections estimate it will be worth $USD160 ($AUD223) million.
With Simmons’ participation in the World Cup still undetermined, his contract status is one of many factors that will decide whether he suits up for the Boomers this year. Patrick's addition to the Boomers coaching staff could prove to be one of the best moves off the court by Lemanis, especially if it has Simmons pulling on the green and gold in China.