Matthew Dellavedova will be the only Olympic bronze medal-winning Boomer to fit into this month’s World Cup qualifiers against China and Japan, with the Australian NBA stars skipping the series.
Despite being in their off-season, players, including inspirational captain Patty Mills, have deferred duties to Dellavedova and fellow ex-NBA player Thon Maker for the six games starting on June 30, when the Boomers will play for the first time since their season. History returns to the field performance in Tokyo.
Dellavedova and Maker also played with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016/17.
“I’m delighted to be able to pull off green and gold in three home games in Melbourne at home,” said Dellavedova, who was training in the US during the NBL outdoor season after Melbourne United’s season in the semi-finals.
“The games will be tough and competitive; I can’t wait to start.”
Camera IconThon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova play for Milwaukee in the NBA. AP Photo/David Zalubowski Credit: News Regional Media
His United team-mate Jack White has earned his first call-up to the Boomers roster, having previously played for Australia in the Under-17 and Under-19 World Cups.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to represent the Boomers ever since I started taking basketball seriously,” White said.
“I am excited to represent the Boomers at this event, especially on home soil for Australian fans, friends, and family. I know it will be a special moment I will never forget.”
Boomers coach Brian Goorjian said Maker’s presence would give his side the best chance of securing a spot in the upcoming World Cup.
“I am very excited about the depth of basketball talent in Australia. We’ve put together a competitive list of players, six playing as Boomers for the first time. We know what China and Japan will bring to the table and what it will take to win,” said Goorjian.
“We can expect Thon Maker at 7 feet to be a significant asset to us. Besides Delly, White, and (Sam) Froling, there is a lot to enjoy with this group.
“We only have a short time to train together, but we will count it. I know the home crowd will give us the advantage.”
Australian Boomers squad: Matthew Dellavedova (Melbourne United), Mitch McCarron (Adelaide 36ers), Will McDowell-White (NZ Breakers), Sam McDaniel (Tasmania JackJumpers), Wani Swaka Lo Buluk (Illawarra Hawks), Todd Blachfield (Perth Wildcats), Clint Steindl (Tasmania JackJumpers), Jack White (Melbourne United), Jack McVeigh (Tasmania JackJumpers), Keanu Pinder (Cairns Taipans), Thon Maker (G League), Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks).
FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION SCHEDULE:
Thursday June 30 Australia v China 6:30pm AEST
Friday, July 1, China v Chinese Taipei 5:00 PM AEST
Friday, July 1 Japan v Australia 7:30 PM AEST
Sunday, July 3 Japan v Chinese Taipei 4:00 PM AEST
Sunday, July 3 China v Australia 6:30 p.m. AEST
Monday, July 4, Chinese Taipei v China 6:30 PM AEST