Nathan Jawai may not be a rookie when he heads to the Boomers' opening camp next month but he doesn't consider himself an old stager either.
Former Taipans MVP Jawai was named in the 35-man Boomers squad last week, becoming one of three Far Northern products in the group along with former Taipans Academy teammates Kerry Williams and Aron Baynes.
While Jawai has not yet played a senior game for Australia – he gave up his chance of Olympic selection last year to chase selection in the NBA draft, eventually becoming the first indigenous Australian chosen to the league – he has been a squad regular for some time.
First invited into camp as a teenager while at the Australian Institute of Sport, Jawai will not consider he has "made it" on the international scene until he plays a world championship or Olympic campaign.
"It’s exciting to be on the squad to represent your country but I haven’t made it yet so I’m not happy," he told The Cairns Post.
"Exhibition games, I don’t take it as I made it but a world championship, Olympics, that’s when I’ve made it."
Keen to head to camp next month, Jawai will discuss plans with the Toronto Raptors before committing.
"I need to talk to my agent and talk to the Raptors and see what works from there," he said.
"I want to make the first camp but (it depends on) what happens with me and the Raptors because we have (NBA) summer league and (I have to find out) whether I play Boomers or do summer league."
Jawai said he was excited about working with new national coach Brett Brown, with the Boomers mentor having contacted him already about the Boomers program.
"I’m really, really excited to work with the new coach Brett Brown," Jawai said.
"I spoke to him a few times … I think he’s a great guy. He’ll be a good coach for this Australian
But one of the main reasons for wanting to be in camp is closer to home.
"I would love to play in the first camp because Kerry’s there and I want to be able to be there for him and support him because I’ve been through the same stuff he’s been through," Jawai said.
"I want to be there to guide him through it because I want to see him make it.
"I’ve played with Kerry for nearly my whole career. It’s exciting, I get to go back and play with my old teammates – Adam Gibson is in there, Joe Ingles, Patty (Mills), it’s exciting.
"But I also have other plans, it’s my last year on a contract, so I’ve got to try and save my own