There will be a mix of youth and experience among the Australian Olympic Men’s Basketball squad. The Boomers squad has been trimmed down to 12 from the 16 that attended training camp last week.
Leading the squad will be four-time Olympians Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, whilst Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes have also been named to feature at their third Games in Tokyo.
Guard Chris Goulding will make his second Olympic appearance, with seven Olympic debutants rounding out the squad.
Chef de Mission for Australia’s Olympic Team Ian Chesterman lauded the commitment and attitude of the Boomers’ squad.
“The Boomers bring such an incredible spirit that inspires the whole Australian Team and I look forward to seeing the Boomers bring that energy to Tokyo,” he said.
“These athletes have all shown incredible commitment to the green and gold.
“[The squad is] a great mix of those making their Olympic debut with some real veterans and I know their desire to take that Olympic court in Tokyo is immense.”
Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian echoed this sentiment, heaping praise on the group’s culture and team environment, which he believes is inspired by the group’s veterans.
“I’m in a unique situation where I was part of the Boomers in Beijing with Patty and Joe to come back close to 12 years later and see what the culture has become – the first two days of practice I just took it all in,” Goorjian said.
“Where it’s gone in that time, through that leadership group with Delly, Baynes, Joe and Patty has been amazing to see.
“Now you’ve got seven debutants coming in, the culture is unique and you can’t continue without that main group touching you.
“Being part of this culture, not only for this Olympics is it important, but for the future of Australian basketball, where you’re not starting from square one.”
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Among the Olympic debutants are Dante Exum, Matisse Thybulle and Josh Green, all of whom featured in the 2021 NBA season.
Thybulle said he’s excited for the experience of the Games, as well as the ability to foster the team culture and environment.
“As a kid… I couldn’t even imagine myself having the opportunity to be [at the Olympics],” he said.
“Now this is real and becoming even more real as each day goes by, it’s a special opportunity and I want to experience all of it.
“What I love about that is that is not going to be a hard thing for this team to do, with how passionate we are and the reality of how capable we are to do it.
“It’s one thing to have a goal but it’s another to actually be able to achieve it… The more cohesive we become as a unit the better we’re going to be, we have the talent, it’s just a matter of doing it together.”
As an experienced member of the squad and headed to his third Games, Baynes shared his excitement at having young talents like Thybulle, Exum and Green in the squad, and being able to share the Boomers team culture with them.
“There’s so much young talent coming through in Australian basketball that we’re excited to incorporate into the Boomers system and hopefully lets us take that next step,” Baynes said.
“When we can mix that and incorporate that team chemistry quickly, that will be key to our success.
“Unfinished business is in the forefront of all our minds… We’re all excited to get out there and chase that gold medal.”
Ben Simmons is a notable absentee from the Boomers squad, having chosen to withdraw from selection contention last week.
Australia’s Men’s Olympic Basketball Squad
|Aron Baynes||Centre/Forward||Third games (2012; 2016)|
|Matthew Dellavedova||Guard||Third games (2012; 2016)|
|Christopher Goulding||Guard||Second games (2016)|
|Joseph Ingles||Guard/Forward||Fourth games (2008; 2012; 2016)|
|Patrick Mills||Guard||Fourth games (2008; 2012; 2016)|
The group stage for the men’s basketball competition at Tokyo 2020 begins on July 25, with the bronze and gold medal matches to be played on August 7.
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