Boomers gather for Perth camp ahead of YouYiGames
The Australian Boomers men’s basketball squad have gathered in Perth today ahead of their London campaign, for a six-day camp that will lead into the team’s highly anticipated three-game series against China, the YouYi Games.
Headlining the squad are international star players Matt Nielsen, David Barlow and also Aron Baynes, who has come off a stellar season in the Greek League, along with NBL stars and members of the 2010 Boomers World Championship team Adam Gibson, Mark Worthington and local hero Damian Martin.
Also joining the squad is rising-star playmaker Matthew Dellavedova, who returned from the US late last week after a break-out College season, where he was ranked in the top five point guards in College basketball. Also in the squad are other NBL stars Peter Crawford, Jesse Wagstaff and local rising stars and Boomers debutants Greg Hire and Cody Ellis.
Head Assistant Coach for the Boomers Andrej Lemanis said that the Boomers were anxious to get together and get the ball rolling on what promises to be a big week on the training court.
“It’s an exciting time for the Boomers program as we build towards the London Olympics and we’re excited about the group coming in and getting our structures and systems in place and starting to work towards the end goal,” he said.
With head coach Brett Brown still in the US serving as the Assistant Coach of the San Antonio Spurs who are gridlocked at 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lemanis said that despite the distance, communication and technology are helping to bridge the gap to ensure that the program doesn’t miss a beat.
“Firstly, this is our fourth year together now as a coaching staff so I’m very comfortable with Brett’s systems and the way he likes to run the program, so it’s good that we are that far advanced as a coaching staff, given the current situation,” he said.
“Marty and I just spent a week with Brett and through that process we were able to reaffirm what we are doing as a group and the things that are important to us as a program, and the things we want to get in place and hold each other accountable, and the team accountable to. Obviously with modern technology it enables Brett to stay involved by video. We can package up the training sessions and he can watch those, and he can communicate with us as a coaching staff and the team live via video link, so that’s one of the advantages of modern day technology, that you don’t have to be in the same room as somebody to have input and an impact and see what’s going on,” he said.
At the camp’s conclusion, a Boomers team will be selected to battle China in the YouYi Games, which tips off on Saturday, 9 June at Challenge Stadium in Perth, seeing the growing rivalry between Australia and China continue.
With basketball now considered the number one sport in China, with stars like Yao Ming pioneering this growth, the series promises to be a tough battle, with both teams having already earned their place in the London tournament, and with China ranked tenth in the world, only one place behind the Boomers in ninth.
The second clash of the YouYi Games moves to Albany on Monday, 11 June, tipping off at 7pm, before returning to Perth and Challenge Stadium for the third and final match-up on Wednesday 13 June, with a start time of 8pm. For more information visit www.youyigames.com
AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS SQUAD, PERTH CAMP
David BARLOW / 205cm / Guard/Forward/ 22-10-1983 / Murcia (Spain)
Aron BAYNES / 207cm / Centre/ 9-12-1986 / Ikaros Kallitheas (Greece)
Anatoly BOSE / 200cm / Guard / 6-12-1988 / Sydney Kings (NBL)
Ryan BROEKHOFF / 201cm / Guard/Forward / 23-8-1990 / Valparaiso (US College)
Peter CRAWFORD / 193cm / Guard / 6-11-1979 / Townsville Crocodiles (NBL)
Matthew DELLAVEDOVA / 1990cm / Guard / 8-9-1990 / St Mary's (US College)
Anthony DRMIC / 196cm / Guard / 25-2-1992 / Boise State (US College)
Cody ELLIS / 203cm / Forward / 24-4-1990 / Saint Louis (US College)
Adam GIBSON / 188cm / Guard / 30-10-1986 / Gold Coast Blaze (NBL)
Hugh GREENWOOD / 190cm / Guard / 6-3-1992 / New Mexico (US College)
Greg HIRE / 201cm / Forward / 19-9-1987 / Perth Wildcats (NBL)
Julian KHAZZOUH / 209cm / Centre / 23-2-1986 / Sydney Kings (NBL)
Daniel KICKERT / 208cm / Forward / 29-3-1983 / PGE Turow (Poland)
Damian MARTIN / 188cm / Guard / 2-9-1984 / Perth Wildcats (NBL)
Brock MOTUM / 206cm / Forward / 16-10-1990 / Washington State (US College)
Matt NIELSEN / 209cm / Forward / 3-2-1978 / BC Khimki (Russia)
Jesse WAGSTAFF / 203cm / Forward / 3-4-1986 / Perth Wildcats (NBL)
Mark WORTHINGTON / 202cm / Forward / 8-6-1983 / Gold Coast Blaze (NBL)