Kiwi-born Aron Baynes was a late starter to basketball first picking up a ball in his late teens, but quickly proved he was one to watch and earned himself a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Aron made his debut for Australia in 2009 before playing at the 2010 World Championships. He played in Lithuania, Germany and Greece before being selected to compete at his first Olympic Games in London where he scored 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in just over 12 minutes per game as the side finished seventh.
After a stint in Slovenia he joined fellow Australian Patty Mills at the San Antonio Spurs in early 2013 and was a part of their NBA Championship winning team in 2014. After increased minutes in the 2014-15 season he went on to sign with the Detroit Pistons where he helped the team return to the NBA playoffs in 2016 for the first time in seven seasons.
He returned to Olympic competition at the Rio 2016 Games where Australia went in search of a historic first Olympic men’s basketball medal. The Australian side began the competition with wins over medal contenders France and Serbia. A close loss to the USA was backed up by strong wins over China and Venezuela to see the side finish their group in second.
They eased past Lithuania in the quarter-finals before going down to Serbia 87-61 in the semi-finals. The result set up a bronze medal clash with Spain which went down to the wire. Australia again missed a medal by the barest of margins as the Spanish scored two free throws with just over 5 seconds remaining to take the final position on the Rio podium.
Baynes was one of Australia’s stand out performers in Rio, scoring 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds a game while combining with Andrew Bogut to stifle their opponents offense throughout the tournament.
In 2017, Aron signed with the Boston Celtics where he started 67 games during his first season. He re-signed with the team for the 2018-2019 season, where he average 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. In mid-2019, Aron was traded to the Phoenix Suns.
Aron will make his third Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Games, representing Australia as a member of the Boomers.