Sport Basketball Boomers: Ben Simmons headlines NBA-heavy World Cup squad

Boomers: Ben Simmons headlines NBA-heavy World Cup squad

Ben Simmons was asked to produce identification. Photo: Getty
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Australia will be pinning its hopes on a Boomers squad bolstered by a swag of NBA stars when it shoots for glory in August’s FIBA World Cup.

The star-studded 17-man training side will be vying for its first-ever international medal at the August tournament, which commences in exactly 100 days time.

Head coach Andrej Lemanis selected nine NBA players, headlined by Philadelphia 76ers talisman Ben Simmons, Golden State Warrior Andrew Bogut and San Antonio Spurs star Patty Mills.

“No doubt, we have the opportunity to put a great team on the floor and that’s exciting. Working with the best players in the country is such an honour and privilege – I feel extremely blessed to again have this opportunity,” Lemanis said following the announcement.

“However, the depth of talent in Australian basketball means that some tough decisions are made at this point and some very good players [have missed] out.”

Boomers star Ingles said the squad had the potential to extend its campaign into the World Cup’s medal rounds.

“We are confident we can do something really special at the World Cup and that is to bring home a gold medal,” Ingles said.

A trio of key playmakers do not feature in the squad – injured Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum, Thon Maker and Ryan Broekhoff.

Maker’s Detroit Pistons requested the Australian up-and-comer to focus on his development during the upcoming NBA off-season, while Broekhoff will remain in Australia for the birth of his first child.

In their place, a host of NBL talent will jostle for a World Cup berth, including Melbourne’s Chris Goulding, Brisbane duo Nathan Sobey and Cameron Gliddon, and Perth’s Nicholas Kay.

The Boomers squad will play four pre-World Cup games on home soil, facing Canada in Perth on August 16 and 17 and the United States’ basketball team in Melbourne on August 22 and 24.

17-man Australian Boomers squad (trimmed to 12 for the World Cup)

Deng Adel, Aron Baynes, Todd Blanchfield, Andrew Bogut, Jonah Bolden, Mitch Creek, Matthew Dellavedova, Cameron Gliddon, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Nicholas Kay, Jock Landale, Mitch McCarron, Patty Mills, Brock Motum, Ben Simmons, Nathan Sobey
-with AAP

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