Dante Exum, one of the promising players in the NBA, has declared that the Australian Boomers this year are one of the greatest teams in Aussie basketball history. Exum, along with the rest of the Australian National team, has returned from Utah to take part in a Boomers preparation camp in Canberra for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Spain set for August.
Exum was drafted by the Utah Jazz as the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is considered one of the top rookies to join the league this season.
“The excitement of me and Bear [Bairstow] getting drafted, Patty and Baynes with an NBA championship, there’s so much buzz around the game and people wanting to get involved,” Exum said to the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s been really good. Coach [Quin] Snyder has been introducing me into the program and it’s exciting.”
Exum will be joined by other current NBA players Aron Baynes (San Antonio), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls) which as long as all four players make the final squad, which is most likely, it will be the most active NBA players ever to play in the same Boomers squad in the history of Australian Basketball.
Ben Simmons who is tipped to be one of next years hottest NBA draft prospects has also been named as part of the team. Currently playing high school ball at Montverde Academy (Florida, USA) he will be the youngest member of the team at only 17 years of age.
Australia have more players currently plying their trade overseas than ever before and a number of players who represent some of the Euroleagues strongest clubs will be vying for a spot on this years Australian Boomers team also. These include David Andersen (Strasbourg, France), Ryan Broekhoff (Besiktas, Turkey), Joe Ingles (Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Israel), Brock Motum (Bologna, Italy), Brad Newley (Gran Canaria, Spain) and Nathan Jawai (Galatasaray, Turkey).
In recent years Australian Boomers teams who have participated in the World Cup or Olympics have featured very few players from the NBL. This year there are a number of “domestic” players who are keen to change that trend and make a name for themselves in international competition. Other Boomers in the pool that will participate in the Australian training camp include Angus Brandt (Sydney Kings), Adam Gibson (Adelaide 36ers), Chris Goulding (Melbourne United/CAI Zaragoza), Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Lucas Walker (Melbourne United) and Mark Worthington (Melbourne United).
“I still think we can do something special in Spain.” Dellavedova stated in the same article.
To do something special, Australia has to first survive its group that includes Angola, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico and Slovenia. The Boomers are pegged to advance from the group stage and expected to advance to the knockout stages.
The FIBA World Cup 2014 in Spain is scheduled from August 30 to September 14, 2014 and will be shown on the ABC.