With the third FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifying window fast approaching, Basketball Australia today announced the Australian Boomers team, set to play in front of home fans in Melbourne at the end of this month.
Returning to coach the Boomers for his first event since Tokyo 2020, Brian Goorjian is locked in to lead the series on home soil and will reunite with three-time Olympian and bronze medallist Matthew Dellavedova.
The Boomers welcome some fresh yet familiar faces to the court, with highly experienced names set to represent Australia for the first time. NBA G-League’s seven-foot-tall, Thon Maker and Melbourne United Championship player and previous Duke University captain, Jack White securing their spot in the team.
Current Adelaide 36ers captain and NBL Champion, Mitch McCarron and Perth Wildcat, Todd Blanchfield will represent the green and gold once again after both were a part of the Boomers’ Gold medal 2017 FIBA Asia Cup campaign. Dual NBL Champions, Clint Steindl and Wani Swaka Lo Buluk and 2021 NBL Champion Sam McDaniel will take to the court as first-time Australian Boomers.
Sam Froling and Jack McVeigh will suit up for their second senior national team qualifier having previously played in 2021 and 2019 respectively. Froling rewarded off the back of being named the 2021 NBL Most Improved Player (MIP). Meanwhile the 2022 NBL MIP, Keanu Pinder and New Zealand Breakers’ Will McDowell White will represent the green and gold for the first time.
This Boomers team announcement comes as a nod of recognition to the Australian basketball pathways, with seven of the twelve selected players having progressed via the AIS and BA’s Centre of Excellence.
Coach Brian Goorjian is ready to see what this group of players can do.
“I’m really excited by the depth of basketball talent in Australia, we have put together a competitive list of players, six who are playing as Boomers for the first time. We know what China and Japan will bring to the table and what it will take for the win.”
“We can expect Thon Maker at 7ft to be a significant asset for us, alongside Delly, White and Froling there is a lot to like with this group. We only have a short time to train together, but we will make it count, I know the home crowd will give us the advantage,” Goorjian said.
Having represented Australia at junior competitions, Jack White is ready for the opportunity to step up and officially be a Boomer.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to represent the Boomers ever since I started taking basketball seriously. I’ve been fortunate enough to represent Australia three times at junior and university events, there is nothing that comes close to the feeling of wearing the green and gold and playing for your country,” White said.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to represent the Boomers at this event, especially on home soil in front of Australian fans, friends and family and I know it will be a special moment I’ll never forget.”
Basketball Australia CEO Matt Scriven said, “it’s through the support of the Victorian Government that we can hold these international games here in Melbourne and inspire young fans to become the next Boomers.”
The Boomers will face Japan and China at John Cain Arena in Melbourne. Tickets are available at Ticketek.
AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS TEAM
|Will McDowell White|
|Wani Swaka Lo Buluk|
FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS SCHEDULE:
|Thursday, June 30||Australia v China||6:30pm AEST|
|Friday, July 1||China v Chinese Taipei||5:00pm AEST|
|Friday, July 1||Japan v Australia||7:30pm AEST|
|Sunday, July 3||Japan v Chinese Taipei||4:00pm AEST|
|Sunday, July 3||China v Australia||6:30pm AEST|
|Monday, July 4||Chinese Taipei v China||6:30pm AEST|