Majok, a Sudanese refugee who started playing basketball after making a new home with his family in Western Sydney, is one of the most highly rated prospects in American college basketball.
With a number of senior players injured or unavailable for the 2009 international season, BA named Majok and a number of other young stars to play in the prestigious international tournament.
The Boomers departed New Zealand this morning after a disappointing loss to New Zealand at the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championship last night and will play its first match of the Stankovic Cup on Friday.
Australia will play matches against Turkey, Angola and host nation China at the event.
Despite the Oceania Championship defeat at the hands of the Tall Blacks, Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock said BA remained steadfast to its longer-term plan for the senior men’s national team and the continued development of Australia’s emerging talent.
”Clearly we’re disappointed with the loss but last night’s result just goes to show the increasingly competitive nature of global basketball,” Sengstock said. “There’s a misconception that the Tall Blacks aren’t a world class team, but New Zealand are ranked thirteenth in the world. We’re fortunate to have such great competition across the Tasman and a lot of that strength is testimony to the quality of the National Basketball League Competition.
“We’re very proud of the effort of the Boomers, who will now focus on preparing for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, which of course they had already qualified for. The Stankovic Cup is a vital part of our on-going plan to blood young players and provide them with international experience.”
With Nathan Jawai needing to report to the Dallas Mavericks, Joe Ingles due in Spain, Brad Newley due in Turkey, Aron Baynes due in Lithuania and Adam Gibson resting an injured foot, many changes have been made to the Boomers team for the Stankovic Cup.
Three debutantes have been listed in the 12-strong group, including Majok, seventeen year old star Hugh Greenwood and former Sydney Spirit forward Liam Rush, who has been plying his trade in Sweden.
Australia’s men’s basketball team for the 2009 Stankovic Cup:
Name / Most recent college or pro team / Junior Association / Age / Height
Peter CRAWFORD / Townsville Crocodiles / Mt. Isa, QLD / 29 / 193cm
Matthew DELLAVEDOVA / Australian Institute of Sport / Maryborough, VIC / 18 / 189cm
Oscar FORMAN / New Zealand Breakers (NZ) / Sturt, SA / 27 / 206cm
Hugh GREENWOOD / Australian Institute of Sport / Hobart, TAS / 17 / 187cm
James HARVEY / Gold Coast Blaze / Perry Lakes, WA / 30 / 196cm
Jacob HOLMES / Adelaide 36ers / Sturt, SA / 25 / 198cm
Ater MAJOK / University of Connecticut (USA) / Macarthur, NSW / 22 / 208cm
Damian MARTIN / Perth Wildcats / Gloucester, NSW / 24 / 188cm
A.J. OGILVY / Vanderbilt University (USA) / Hills, NSW / 21 / 210cm
Liam RUSH / Sundsvall Dragons (Sweden) / Broome, QLD / 27 / 198cm
Luke SCHENSCHER / Adelaide 36ers / Noarlunga, SA / 26 / 216cm
Stephen WEIGH / Perth Wildcats / Rockhampton, QLD / 22 / 202cm
Head Coach: Brett Brown
Assistant Coach: Andrej Lemanis
Assistant Coach: Shane Heal
Assistant Coach: Marty Clarke
Manager: Nic Mercer