After a final opportunity to impress selectors at the Boomers’ training camp in Los Angeles over this past week, Basketball Australia has named their final 12-man squad to represent the green and gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games later this month, the Australian Olympic Committee announced today.
Led by three-time Olympians Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, selectors have decided to stock this Boomers team with a mix of Games’ experience and fresh faces. Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes will make their third appearance, Chris Goulding will don the Australian colours for his second and seven athletes will achieve their Olympic dream for the first time.
After achieving ultimate NBL success with Melbourne United, Chris Goulding and United MVP Jock Landale have now headed to the USA to take their place in the team.
As a late addition to the initial Boomers’ squad, Nathan Sobey’s (Brisbane Bullets) impressive NBL season was simply too strong to overlook, and in the eyes of the selectors, he hasn’t missed a step since. Along with experienced NBL Champion Nicholas Kay (Perth Wildcats, Wellington Saints), this will be a first for these long-time servers of the game.
This Boomers’ squad welcomes youth to the list of high-profile Australian names, as Duop Reath (25), Dante Exum (25), Matisse Thybulle (24) and exciting up and comer Josh Green (20) will also each chase gold on the Olympic stage for the first time.
Triple Olympian Aron Baynes said the team was driven to achieve that elusive international medal.
“Unfinished business is in the forefront of all our minds,” Baynes said. “We’re all excited to get out there and chase that gold medal.”
“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. When we can mix that and incorporate that team chemistry quickly, that will be key to our success.”
“It’s the highest honour for us playing basketball to get to play with our mates who have all grown up together and are second family now. We just want to carry that over and instill it in the young guys.”
Head Coach Brian Goorjian, Australian Olympic coach in 2004 and 2008, paid tribute to the impact of the veteran experience on the squad.
“I’m really excited, we’ve got some nice youth coming into the team, and a good balance,” Goorjian said.
“It’s very clear what the goal is. It’s not driven from me, I’ve walked into it and it’s hit me in the face. That leadership group want a gold medal and if they don’t get it they’ll be disappointed. My job is to come in here and do everything I can to help them complete the vision.
“It’s huge having that experience. 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. 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. So those guys being in this group is really going to help not only for Tokyo but beyond.”
The Boomers’ squad will now head to Las Vegas where they will join the Australian Opals to compete in exhibition matches before they make the trip to Tokyo.
Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo
|Name||Age||Olympic Games||Aus Hometown||State||Postcode|
|Aron Baynes||34||3rd (2012, 2016)||Redlynch||QLD||4870|
|Matthew Dellavedova||30||3rd (2012, 2016)||Marybrough||VIC||3465|
|Dante Exum||25||Debut||East Melbourne||VIC||3002|
|Christopher Goulding||32||2nd (2016)||Brisbane||QLD||4000|
|Joseph Ingles||33||4th (2008, 2012, 2016)||Adelaide||SA||5000|
|Jock Landale||25||Debut||Malvern East||VIC||3145|
|Patrick Mills||32||4th (2008, 2012, 2016)||Canberra||ACT||2600|
The Basketball competition will run from 25 July – 9 August at the Saitama Super Arena
Coaching and High Performance:
Head Coach:Brian Goorjian
Coach: Matthew Nielson
Coach: Adam Caporn
Coach: Josh Rillie
Analysis: Jacob Jackomas
Team Doctor: Brendon Aubrey
Physiotherapist: David Hillard
Physiotherapist: Paula Paralta
Head of Team Operations: Jason Smith
High Performance Manager: Jan Stirling