Teenage stars join NBA’s Patty Mills in Boomers squad

Teenage stars join NBA’s Patty Mills in Boomers squad

Three teenage members of the Australian Emus team from the recent Under 19 FIBA World Championships, including tournament All-Star Five selection Hugh Greenwood, have been invited to join NBA star Patty Mills and nine European-based players in the 24-man ‘Golden Star’ Australian Boomers squad for their upcoming Gold Coast training camp.

Greenwood will join Emus’ teammates and fellow AIS scholarship holders Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic at the Boomers camp, which will run from 25 to 29 July.

Whilst the selection of the three Emus stars to the squad will ensure there will be plenty of youthful enthusiasm at the camp, there will also be one of the strongest veteran Boomers presences in recent times.

2008 Olympian Mills, who has just finished his second NBA season with the Portland Trail Blazers, has confirmed he will be on court at the Gold Coast camp.  Also in action will be dual Olympian Matt Nielsen (Olympiacos Piraeus, Greece) as well as Joe Ingles (Regal FC Barcelona, Spain), Brad Newley (Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania), Steven Markovic (Radnički Kragujevac, Serbia), David Barlow (CAI Zaragoza, Spain) and Daniel Kickert (PGE Turow, Poland), who all have either World Championship or Olympic experience.

Fellow European-based Australians AJ Ogilvy (Besiktas, Turkey), Aron Baynes (EWE Basket Oldenburg, Germany) and Luke Nevill (Triumph Lyubertsy, Russia) will also be on hand, showcasing the incredible depth of internationally-experienced talent available to head coach Brett Brown.

College players Nate Tomlinson of the University of Colorado and Matthew Dellavedova of St. Mary’s have also been invited to participate.  The squad has plenty of local NBL representatives as well including Gold Coast Blaze trio Adam Gibson, Mark Worthington and Jason Cadee, Stephen Weigh of the Adelaide 36ers, Luke Schenscher and Peter Crawford of the Townsville Crocodiles and Perth Wildcats triumvirate Damian Martin, Matthew Knight and Jesse Wagstaff.

The camp will be an integral part of the Boomers’ preparations for their all-important upcoming clash with the New Zealand Tall Blacks in the FIBA Oceania Championship for Men, where an automatic berth at the London Olympic Games is at stake.

The camp will also be used to help choose the 12-man team to travel to China for the 2011 Stankovic Cup tournament, which will be held in Hanning, China from 1 – 4 August and features the national teams of Russia, Angola and host nation China.

National men’s head coach Brett Brown said the addition of Emus team members to the squad was a major positive for the national program.

"There is always a balance of trying to develop young talent and putting together our best team,” said Brown. 

We believe that the addition of our talented young Emu players will not compromise the standard of our group. This opportunity is rare. We are anxious to watch our future players compete against our present core group of senior players where we can better assess their future potential. This situation is a 'win-win' for our overall national program."

Brown said the prospect of having so many senior players on court at the camp was pleasing.

"Our coaching staff is thrilled that we have received such a strong commitment from all of our senior players,” said Brown. “Only Al Maric was not able to join us and we will see him soon at the start of August. 

He is a committed Boomer and he will play a major role. The ability to get our group together now and begin preparation for our New Zealand series is a must. 

Our appearance in the Stankovic Cup after our Gold Coast Camp will be a fantastic opportunity to continue building toward what everyone understands will be an extremely difficult New Zealand series."

Brown said he was pleased that he was able to invite back a number of players from the Boomers’ first training camp to participate on the Gold Coast.

"It is always a better camp when you have 'carry-over' with personnel from camp to camp,” said Brown. “There is a far greater rhythm to everything that we are teaching. We are excited to have several players from our first 2011 camp in Perth earn the invitation to attend Camp Two in the Gold Coast.  From this camp, we will select a team to represent Australia in the prestigious Stankovic Cup held in China. This represents one more important layer to our big picture goal of best preparing for our 'do or die' series with the Kiwis in September."

Whilst Australia has traditionally dominated their trans-Tasman rivals, Brown warned that New Zealand are a basketball force to be contended with.

"We have a great respect for the Tall Blacks and their coaching staff.  Their performances at the recent World Championships in Turkey last year confirm just how dangerous they are. They have a unique team in that they have played together for several years, many of their players play together throughout the NBL season with the Breakers, and they are very well coached. 

The combination of their team unity and chemistry, coupled with their on-court execution keep me up late most nights as this series gets closer.  I have tremendous faith in our Boomer players shared understanding of our opponent. Our group has dedicated themselves on several levels over the past few years for this occasion. We will take nothing for granted in our day to day build up toward earning this pass to the 2012 Olympic Games in London."

The Gold Coast training camp will see the Boomers participate in twice daily trainings, with the morning sessions held at Carrara Indoor Stadium and the afternoon practice at The Southport School.  A full schedule for the training camp will be released shortly.

The 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship for Men against New Zealand will be held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney on the 7th, 9th and 11th September respectively.  Venue and ticketing details are expected to be released in late July.


‘Golden Star’ Boomers – Gold Coast Training Camp Squad (25 – 29 July 2011)

David Barlow, CAI Zaragoza, Spain

Aron Baynes, EWE Basket Oldenburg, Germany

Jason Cadee, Gold Coast Blaze

Peter Crawford, Townsville Crocodiles

Matthew Dellavedova, St Mary’s College

Anthony Drmic, AIS

Adam Gibson, Gold Coast Blaze

Hugh Greenwood, AIS

Igor Hadziomerovic, AIS

Joe Ingles, Regal FC Barcelona, Spain

Daniel Kickert, PGE Turow, Poland

Matt Knight, Perth Wildcats

Steven Markovic, Radnički Kragujevac, Serbia

Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats

Patty Mills, Portland Trailblazers, USA

Luke Nevill, Triumph Lyubertsy, Russia

Brad Newley, Lietuvos Rytas, Lithuania

Matt Nielsen, Olympiacos Piraeus

AJ Ogilvy, Besiktas, Turkey

Luke Schenscher, Townsville Crocodiles

Nate Tomlinson, University of Colorado

Jesse Wagstaff, Perth Wildcats

Stephen Weigh, Adelaide 36ers

Mark Worthington, Gold Coast Blaze


‘Golden Star’ Boomers 2011 International Schedule

25 – 29 Jul       Training Camp - Gold Coast

1 Aug              Stankovic Cup vs. Russia - Hanning, China

2 Aug              Stankovic Cup vs. Angola - Hanning, China

3 Aug              Stankovic Cup vs. China - Hanning, China

4 Aug              Stankovic Cup (FINAL) vs. Opponent TBC - Hanning, China

8 – 12 Aug       Training Camp - Gold Coast

16 Aug            Olympic Test Event vs. China - London, England

17 Aug            Olympic Test Event vs. France - London, England

18 Aug            Olympic Test Event vs. Croatia - London, England

20 Aug            Olympic Test Event vs. Serbia - London, England

21 Aug            Olympic Test Event vs. Great Britain - London, England

25 Aug             International Friendly vs. Spain – Murcia, Spain

26 Aug             International Friendly vs. Spain – Valencia, Spain

3 – 6 Sept        Training Camp - Melbourne

7 Sept              2011 FIBA Oceania Championship for Men (vs. NZ) – Game 1, Melbourne

9 Sept              2011 FIBA Oceania Championship for Men (vs. NZ) – Game 2, Brisbane

11 Sept            2011 FIBA Oceania Championship for Men (vs. NZ) – Game 3, Sydney

‘Golden Star’ Boomers 2011 International Results

25 June            YouYi Games – Australia defeated China 67-65 (OT) in Perth

27 June            YouYi Games – Australia defeated China 62-57 in Singapore