Basketball Australia has named their team to compete in the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament which will be held in Mannheim, Germany from March 31- April 7.
Held since 1958 and now run every two years, the Albert Schweitzer Tournament brings the best Under-18 junior national teams together from 16 countries to compete for the international title.
In the past, the likes of Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan as well as David Andersen and Mitch Creek (who were named MVP’s of the tournament in 1998 and 2010 respectively) have all participated with the tournament often providing a glimpse at some of the future stars.
Australia have a solid history at the tournament, taking home the Championship in 2010 with Creek and Hugh Greenwood being named in the All-Star Five while they also won a silver medal in 1998 and bronze medals 1994 and 2008.
Positioned in Group A this year, the Aussies will face Argentina, Israel, Japan, Germany (who won the title in 2016) and Turkey (who were winners in 2004 while also claiming four silver medals overall) in the group stage.
If they finish in the top two after those five games, they will have a chance to play off for a medal placing with those Semi-Finals and the medal games to be streamed on the official website or their YouTube channel.
“We are looking forward to taking a talented group of young men to such a prestigious tournament that has been known for many years as an unofficial World championships,” said head coach Michael Cassidy.
“It has been a great tournament for breeding and revealing talent along with preparing our athletes for the future when representing our country.”
Returning from 2016 and keen to improve on Australia’s seventh-placed finish from that year, Samson Froling and Callum Dalton will lead the team as the most experienced players.
The roster is filled with national representative talent though with Isaiah Lee, Kody Stattmann, Aiden Krause, Keli Leaupepe, Josh Gatbel and Kyle Bowen all having competed at the FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championships last year where Australia won the gold medal.
“In addition, we have Centre of Excellence scholarship holders Hunter Goodrick and Alexander Ducas as well as an up-and-comer up in Blake Jones from the ACT who has shone while playing basketball in Queensland,” added Cassidy.
Stay tuned to Basketball Australia for updates throughout the tournament.
The Australian Under-18 Team for the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament:
Kyle Bowen (WA)
Callum Dalton (Qld)
Alexander Ducas (WA)
Samson Froling (Qld)
Joshua Gatbel (Vic)
Hunter Goodrick (NSW)
Blake Jones (Qld)
Aiden Krause (Qld)
Keli Leaupepe (Vic)
Isaiah Lee (NSW)
Kody Stattmann (Qld)
Australia’s Schedule for the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Tournament (all times AEST):
April 1: Australia vs. Argentina at 1.15am
April 1: Australia vs. Israel at 11.00pm
April 2: Australia vs. Japan at 11.00pm
April 5: Australia vs. Germany at 4.00am
April 5: Australia vs. Turkey at 11.30pm
April 6: Semi-Finals and classification games
April 7: Medal Games and classification games