The squad is made up of 20 future Aussie stars, many of whom are currently playing in the US College system.
The Australian Men’s basketball team will be a part of a 230 strong Australian contingent at the games. In recognising the magnitude of the event on the world sporting scene, Basketball Australia sees the University Games basketball program as a stepping-stone into the Boomers program.
”It’s always a challenge trying to fill the gap between the Under 19 Emus and Boomers — that is what this event has been touted for,” said head coach Mick Downer.
“We’re obviously tracking all these Aussie kids who are playing College in the States, which is a real challenge. So to get access to these kids, who are the best possible ones, and to bring them all together is quite a significant challenge and we’re doing that with the selection camp, which is at the Australian Institute of Sport next month,” he said.
The team will gather for the upcoming camp, which will be visited by Boomers head coach Brett Brown, as he will decide who is worthy of a call up into the senior national team.
One of the largest sporting events in the world, the Summer Universiade (World University Games), this year held in Shenzhen, China, will see 8000 athletes from around the world competing across 24 sports.
A biennial event, it was Serbia who claimed the gold medal before a 23,000 strong home crowd in 2009, beating Russia who took home the silver medal. The USA finished with a Bronze medal. Of the talent on the floor that year were NBA players Quincy Pondexter, Lazar Hayward, Da’Sean Butler and Euroleague players Nikita Shabalkin and Anatoly Kashirov.
Head Coach Mick Downer, who is the assistant coach of the highly successful Cairns Taipans has experienced the World University Games previously and knows the challenges the group will face to be successful.
“The standard of the event is world class and BA has increased its resources that it has put into the program which is really important for the success of the team,” said Downer.
“We’ve got a really exciting group of guys who have varying experience from different levels all over the States. We do have a couple of players who are Australian-based and studying at Uni which makes them eligible also,” he said.
Assisting Mick Downer is ex-AIS scholarship coach and former NBL athlete Adam Caporn. Adam is now coaching in the US with St Mary’s college who has enjoyed yet another successful year in the College system.
In a recent statement, Australian University Sport high performance manager Siobhan James said that he was pleased to see the importance that Basketball Australia is placing on the Summer Universiade.
“It is great to see that Basketball Australia is supporting talented Australian basketballers who are choosing to combine sport with higher education studies. The Summer Universiade is a highly competitive event that offers our students excellent experience on the world stage, and many of our competitors have gone on to become champions in their chosen sport.”
The squad’s selection camp will be held 3-6 July, before a team of 12 is chosen. They will compete in friendly games prior to their first tip off at the World University Games on 12 August.
2011 MEN’S SQUAD WORLD UNIVERSITY SUMMER GAMES TEAM
Joel NABURGS / Joel Naburgs / Stetson, USA
Corey MAYNARD / Guard / Bryant, USA
Ryan GODFREY / Guard / West Georgia, USA
Trian ILLIADIS / Guard / Old Dominion,
Cameron GLIDDON / Guard / Concordia,
Alex GYNES / Forward / Nova SouthEastern
Tom DALY / Guard / Uni SA / Adelaide 36ers, Australia
Ben DOWDELL / Forward / Santa Clara, USA
Liam MCINERNEY / Forward / Stetson, USA
Liam GIBCUS / Centre / Alaska Anchorage, USA
Ben SMITH / Centre / Concordia, USA
Kyle ARMOUR / Guard / Augusta State, USA
Dexter KERNICH DREW / Forward / Washington State, USA
Chris PATTON / Centre / Southern Idaho, USA
Ryan BROEKHOFF Forward / Valparaiso, USA
Christian SALECICH / Guard / Missouri Southern, USA
Clint STEINDL / Guard/Forward / St Marys, USA
Gavin FIELD / Forward / West Georgia, USA
Angus BRANDT / Centre / Oregon State, USA
Matt HODGSON / Centre / St Marys, USA
Head Coach: Mick Downer, Cairns Taipans
Assistant Coach: Adam Caporn, St Mary’s College
Manager: Jared Campbell, Adelaide 36ers
26th Summer Universiade Shenzhen (CHN) August 11 – 23 2011