Boomers On Target for Olympic Games 2020

After failing again, falling at the last hurdle, the Boomers missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins – again, in China.

But it’s certainly not all doom and gloom in the Australian team camp with much to look forward to.

Add Ben Simmons to the mix and the gaps begin to be filled. Dante Exum, Jonah Bolden and Thon Maker will present an overall formidable team of internationals currently playing at the highest level.

Read about it here

The Boomers’ emerging generation offers hope to finally break our medal drought at the Tokyo Olympics

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The Boomers failed to win a basketball World Cup medal — again.

The World Cup in China represented the Boomers’ best chance to scale the heights of men’s basketball: devoid of superstars, the United States had fallen; the powerful Serbians, too, perished after a shock loss.

But there are no guarantees in elite sport as the Boomers found out against a veteran Spanish team well-rehearsed in winning medals at major events.

Had Patty Mills not missed a late free throw in the semi-final match against Spain, we could today be hailing the Boomers as World Champions.

Instead, the Australians were dragged through an epic double-overtime loss that left them physically and emotionally drained.

So small are the margins in international basketball that the Boomers ultimately leave China empty-handed.

It was no surprise to see them settle for fourth after a predictable loss to France in the playoff for Bronze — Australia’s tank simply ran dry.

As brilliant as the Boomers campaign was through their first six matches, flaws were exposed when it mattered.

The Boomers had to rely too heavily on too few in their quest to win their first medal at a major competition.

No one could question the commitment of Patty Mills and Joe Ingles.

Mills finished as the tournament’s third leading scorer while Ingles routinely made important plays.

Yet as their minutes grew, their effectiveness diminished. Depth became an issue.

The Australians used a nine-man rotation across the tournament.

Three members of Australia’s 12-man squad — Nathan Sobey, Cameron Gliddon and David Barlow — combined for less than seven minutes of total court time.

But on the evidence of this campaign, Australia is in tremendous shape for a breakthrough performance at the 2020 Olympics.

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Joe Ingles of was one of Australia’s most consistent performers at the 2019 basketball World Cup, in China.

The likes of Mills, Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut are still hungry for international success, and while they may carry the scars of heartbreaking finishes at World Cups and Olympic Games, NBA-based reinforcements are on the way.

The game changer in Tokyo will be Ben Simmons.

The 23-year-old Philadelphia 76ers point guard is already considered the best male basketballer Australia has ever produced and is expected to make himself available for next year’s Olympic Games.

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Ben Simmons will carry the hopes of a team — and a nation — at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Simmons is the future of Australian men’s basketball and his inclusion would likely lead to a seismic shift in the way the Boomers play.

If the coaching staff and team veterans embrace what he brings in playmaking, the Boomers will be feared by everyone.

Simmons has often spoken about his desire to represent his nation on the world stage. Leading Australia to a first men’s Olympic medal would be a perfect way to start.

But Simmons will not be the only fresh face expected to be available for the campaign.

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If he’s fit, Dante Exum will bring plenty of speed and athleticism to the Boomers’ Olympic squad.

Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum missed the World Cup while recovering from a serious knee injury (not the first of his brief professional career) but wants in on what the Boomers are building.

Simmons’ Philadelphia teammate Jonah Bolden and Detroit big man Thon Maker are both expected to be available. Australia could effectively field a 12-man team made up entirely of overseas-based players.

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At 7ft 1in (216cm), Thon Maker would definitely bolster the Boomers’ big man stocks at Tokyo.

Of course, much can happen between now and Tokyo 2020.

Just ask USA basketball about the vagaries of player availability; of the 35 players initially selected in the USA’s player pool for the World Cup, only four ended up on the final roster — largely due to player drop-outs.

Unfortunately for the Boomers and every other Olympic basketball nation, the embarrassment of a 7th-placed finish for Team USA will spur America’s legion of NBA superstars to restore dignity at international level.

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Team USA will be out to atone for their miserable World Cup showing at the Tokyo Olympics.

The household names will be back and the desire to dominate will return.

So while Australia’s medal chances have never been brighter, Olympic gold may remain elusive.

Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir applaud the efforts of the Boomers and wish them well in their pre-Olympic preparation.

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New Courts Scheduled for the Royal Park Hockey and Netball Centre.

It’s full circle for Nellakir this month after having been awarded the contract to construct 6 new competition Timber Sports Flooring courts at the Victorian Headquarters for Netball at Royal Park. Back in 2001, Nellakir completed the construction and installation of the two main Competition Courts at the facility. These were scheduled to coincide with the Commonwealth Games hosted in Melbourne in 2006. View case study

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With the phenomenal growth of the game, the time has now arrived to expand the Royal Park facilities and provide absolute premium playing surfaces for the ever expanding and popular game of Netball here in Melbourne. As the State centre for Netball, the facility can utilise the new courts in hosting major competitions going forward. Nellakir are proud to be involved in this innovative and much needed project.

 

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At the same time Nellakir are proceeding to replace the existing court and facilities at Richmond High School, commencing shortly. This will also provide the local community with an excellent facility for premium competition.

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Unfortunately, the Boomers missed the medal count again in China at the World Cup, We look forward to the Olympics in Tokyo.

Here’s a quick report on the Bronze Medal play-off with France.

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019: Australian Boomers fall to France in bronze medal game

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The Australian Boomers’ fell short in the bronze medal game, going down 67-59 to France at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

After leading by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, the Boomers let the lead slip as Nando De Colo took over for France, surging back into the game behind a 19-6 run.

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The Boomers have lost four previous bronze medal games, all coming at the Olympic Games (1988, 1996, 2000, and 2016).

Nando De Colo led France with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, taking over in the second half to power France home.

Evan Fournier added 16 points, while Nic Batum and Andrew Albicy chipped in nine each, with Albiciy draining three triples in the fourth quarter, including the dagger to extend the lead to seven points with 1:06 remaining.

Joe Ingles led the Aussies with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Patty Mills was on the only other scorer in double figures with 15.

Mills had the Aussies going early, scoring eight points in the first quarter as the Boomers took a 16-11 lead after 10 minutes. Ingles took over in the second, leading the Aussies with 12 points as they took a 30-21 lead into half-time.

Ingles’ and-1 layup over Rudy Gobert with 7:34 remaining in the third extended the lead to 15, before De Colo and Fournier powered France back into the game, cutting the lead to four points heading into the fourth quarter.

After both teams traded the lead, France siezed control when Gobert’s first bucket of the game put them up 60-56 with 2:06 remaining.

De Colo then produced a clutch steal with 1:25 remaining, before Albicy’s triple gave France some breathing room. France held strong down the stretch, thanks to some Batum free-throws, winning the final quarter 25-13.

De Colo was instrumental in France’s comeback, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers continued to plague the Aussies in their semi-final, amassing 19 to France’s 13.

Source: sportingnews.com

Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction, cyclical maintenance and scheduled cleaning of all Premium Timber Sports Flooring. We supply and install ASF/Horner Sprung Timber Flooring systems exclusively.

For all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements – Construction, Installation, Replacement, Annual Maintenance and regular scheduled professional Court Cleaning, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

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The World of Basketball is Changing – or is it? – USA Out of World Cup

For the first time since 2006, the USA won’t win Gold. And for the first time ever Australia’s Boomers have made it to through to the semi finals.

Perhaps what this shows is two things. First the NBA fiercely protects its players. Of the 35 players selected last year for the Team America squad only 4 ended up playing.

The second factor is that the sport is becoming truly global. Based on their talent, it could well be the Boomers will be a force to be reckoned with. Yes we can dream. The Boomers meet its nemesis Spain. Spain denied the Boomers a Bronze Medal in Rio De Janero at the last Olympics. Game Time 6pm Friday 13th.

Read about it all here…

USA knocked out of FIBA basketball World Cup, Australia advances to semi-finals for first time

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The Boomers have flown into the semi-finals of the FIBA basketball World Cup, but the favourites and reigning champion US team are out after suffering a shock defeat to France.

French star Evan Fournier scored 22 points and Rudy Gobert had 21 points with 16 rebounds as France beat the US 89-79, rallying from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the upset.

For the first time since 2006, the US sent NBA players to a major international tournament and won’t win gold.

This is the first time the US will not win a medal at the World Cup since being stunned on home soil in 2002.

“[We’ve] just got to take it like a man at this point,” US guard Kemba Walker said.

“We lost. There’s nothing we can do. We competed. We’ve been competing since day one that we got to training camp. But we gave it everything we’ve got.

“I know we’re Team USA and things of that nature and they’ve been winning for a lot of years, but you know, we didn’t get a chance to pull it off.”

The US team was heavily undermanned heading into the tournament, with CJ McCollum — a player who was initially selected but later withdrew from the squad — saying that a fear of failure could have been to blame.

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‘What did you expect?’

Many pundits in the US were writing Team USA off before they even arrived in China.

Suffering a first-ever defeat to the Boomers in Melbourne before the World Cup just added fuel to the fire as journalists said the early exit came as no surprise.

“What’d you expect? I mean you rolled out your C team,” Former NBA star Raja Bell said.

“I’m not surprised that they ended up getting beat by someone because while they’re good players, they’re not the best that we have to offer.”

The US team had several high-profile players pull out of the squad in the early stages of training, with the AP reporting that of the 35 players originally picked last year, just four made it to China.

That led some US-based journalists to question the selection process.

“[It] doesn’t matter who is on the team, and I couldn’t be more proud of these 12 guys who sacrificed their summer to come here, having never played with each other before,” US coach Gregg Popovich said.

“They put themselves in the arena and competed, and they deserve credit for that, just like France deserves credit for winning. It’s not about, ‘Well, the United States didn’t have their other guys’.

“There’s no such thing as other guys. These are the guys that were here, and they did a great job, and I’m very proud of them.”

The US had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competition, starting with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 World Championships and continuing through every FIBA Americas, World Cup and Olympics event since.

It was bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, after winning three straight Olympic golds in that span but will now focus on the Olympics in Japan next year.

“Any loss hurts,” Popovich said.

“And in this situation, it hurts more.

“But life goes on. This is very important and we would have loved to have won … but we’re all grown, we all have families and lives and life goes on.”

Boomers qualify for World Cup semis

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The Aussie Boomers have qualified for the Basketball World Cup semi-finals for the first time, after defeating Czech Republic 82-70 in China.

The Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances, defeated the tournament debutants on Wednesday night, and will meet Spain on Friday.

It was Spain who broke Australian hearts at the last Olympics by denying the Boomers a first ever medal in global competition by prevailing in the bronze medal match.

Meanwhile, France has upset the United States after winning 89-79 and will also advance to the semi-finals where they will take on Argentina.

This was Australia’s sixth straight win in China, and in doing so, they avoided becoming the latest surprise casualty at this unpredictable World Cup.

“They caused us to be a little anxious early,” Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis said.

“It took a while to find our rhythm offensively but once we did I thought we did a nice job.”

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San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills was again the standout, leading the scoring with 24 points.

The 31-year-old guard also had six assists and four rebounds.

Argentina stunned favourites Serbia on Tuesday while reigning two-time champions the United States were dumped out by France on Wednesday.

Australia were heavy favourites in Shanghai against the Czechs, who bravely hung on until midway through the third quarter, when the Boomers cranked up the pressure.

Australia had survived the World Cup “Group of Death” also including Canada, Senegal and Lithuania, before beating the Dominican Republic and then fellow semi-finalists France in a thriller.

Veteran Australian Andrew Bogut was again loudly booed throughout by fans in Shanghai upset with a tweet he wrote in July about Chinese swimming star Sun Yang.

He goaded the crowd afterwards with a dance as he came off the court.

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Source: abc.net.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring. From full construction to annual maintenance and scheduled court cleaning, it’s simply one call – Nellakir – 03 9467 6126.

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Go Boomers!

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Boomers Rule Ok? 98-94 Defeating Team USA

Last week we talked about the upcoming Game 1 of the 2 ‘Exhibition’ games scheduled at Marvel Stadium Melbourne, Over 50,000 fans attended both games with mixed feelings for many, especially at Game 1 on the line of sight and the vision afforded to those sitting in the most expensive seats.

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Game 2 made amends for Game 1’s shortfalls. After having lost the first game 102-86, revenge on the second game was more than sweet with a 98-94 result in favour of the Boomers. This was the first time Team USA had been beaten since 2006, 78 winning games ago. That time Team USA lost to Greece.

Here is a full report on the Second Game from the ABC…

Australia’s Boomers beat USA 98-94 in Melbourne for first win in 55 years

Australia has pulled off a historic first win over Team USA in their World Cup exhibition game, triumphing 98-94 in front of a record crowd at the Docklands stadium in Melbourne.

The Boomers had not beaten an American national team in 55 years but they achieved the rare feat following a see-sawing tussle in the final term, which captivated the 52,079-strong crowd, the largest ever for a basketball game in Australia.

It was Team USA’s first loss in a major international tournament or exhibition since 2006, ending a 78-game winning streak.

Patty Mills starred for the Boomers with 30 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, while Joe Ingles produced a 15-point haul for the home side.

Andrew Bogut caused the USA all sorts of trouble on the inside to finish with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

“This is huge for us, it’s a friendly so we want to keep it in context,” Bogut said.

“But we did make history tonight as the first senior men’s Australian team to beat an American team.”

“This is a special group of guys that really like playing for their national team and are proud to put on that jersey and we’ve got a group who feel like we can beat anybody in the world.”

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The teams have played 26 times since 1964 but the Boomers had never been triumphant.

After trailing by one point at half-time, the Boomers led 78-76 heading into the final quarter to put the massive crowd on the edge of their seats.

The Boomers still had the lead 91-87 with less than three minutes left on the clock and stifled the depleted Americans’ attempts to rally.

Team USA were missing many of their NBA superstars, who opted to skip the World Cup.
US full of praise for Boomers

Team USA’s head coach Gregg Popovich, who is in charge of Mills at NBA giant San Antonio Spurs, showed he had a sense of humour when he pointed out the Australian’s contribution.

“As I told you after the last game, Patty’s a pain in the arse,” Popovich joked.

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Popovich congratulated the Boomers and highlighted the unity of their squad.

“The Boomers were really great,” Popovich said.

“They did a great job. It’s really a testament to how long they’ve stuck together to get this accomplished.”

The victory raises hopes of the Boomers finally bringing home their first medal at either a World Cup or Olympics, with their first match against Canada in China on September 1.

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Team USA had won their opening encounter against the Boomers 102-86 on Thursday night.

An aggregate crowd of 102,297 attended the two fixtures in Melbourne, with 51,218 watching the first game.

Many spectators were upset by the seating arrangements at Docklands on Thursday, with the game played on a raised court to accommodate the large crowd.

Those on ground-level seats, who paid hundreds of dollars, had limited viewing and were seated on white plastic chairs, while the few rows of courtside seats were folding chairs.

Oscar winner Russell Crowe was among those disappointed with his seat, which he said cost him $1,500.

“Jokes (sic) on me,” he tweeted.

“If you weren’t among 50,000 there and you chose to watch it on TV at home, good decision.”

Source: abc.net.au

Right now here in Victoria and Tasmania it’s quite possible to order and purchase premium Sprung Timber Sports Flooring with FIBA approval. There is simply no reason or no need to import courts from offshore.

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading supplier and installer of premium competition grade Timber Sports Flooring. Using ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems exclusively (FIBA approved), Nellakir can ensure a premium playing surface anywhere in Victoria or Tasmania.

As well, Nellakir provide expert Maintenance and scheduled cleaning for all premium Timber Sports Floors.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply and a free no-obligation consultation.

Whether it’s a major sports stadium or a local school court, trust Nellakir to build, maintain and clean your valuable Sports Flooring investment.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

 

Boomers VS Team USA Games 1 and 2 at Marvel Stadium

The first exhibition game between the Boomers and Team USA is scheduled for Thursday night, the 22nd of August at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Most likely by the time you’ve read this the game will have been played and won. For many the absence of the biggest names from the NBA has been a sore point, with angry fans requesting refunds and many seats still available. From the outside, it could be said that maybe Basketball as a sport is the loser in what appears to be a bit of a fan debacle.

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But not so? Read this excellent appraisal from the Roar

Anger over the Australia-USA exhibition match debacle ramped up this week as the ACCC became involved in helping frustrated fans get ticket refunds for the historic two-game series.

With multiple Team USA stars pulling out of games, fans have claimed they were misled by false advertising campaigns that included a number of NBA superstars. Even when the actual USA squad was announced it featured stars like James Harden, Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. And the Aussie team was set to include NBA stars Ben Simmons, Jonah Bolden and Dante Exum. However, just one day out from the first game at Marvel Stadium, all of these players have made themselves unavailable for a variety of reasons.

Who would have thought 12 months ago, when the plan to bring the NBA’s biggest stars to Melbourne was front-page news, that we’d find ourselves in this position? The games still have many seats available and there are sure to be more empty seats if people get their desired refunds.

It’s a sad state of affairs for what was supposed to be a game changer for Australian basketball.

The big question is: is all this hoopla (pun intended) justified? Or is the anger of these so-called fans simply misguided?

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Rather than focus on what’s missing, let’s take a look at what’s still in play. On Thursday night, arguably the best Australian basketball team ever assembled will play in front of the biggest crowd ever seen for a game on these shores. Yes, Simmons is missing. So is Exum, Bolden and Thon Maker. Don’t forget Ryan Broekhoff too. But it is a credit to Aussie hoops that even with those outs the Boomers will still field a team that includes six players with NBA experience, including two with championship rings.

You have Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 draft pick of 2005 and a championship player. You have Matthew Dellavedova, another champion who is notorious for his aggressive and physical style of play. You’ve got Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, a player who has excelled in Australia and in Europe and who is now a phenomenon in America known for his sharpshooting.

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You’ve got Patty Mills, a veteran point guard of the San Antonio Spurs who continues to contribute to both club and country in so many ways. Throw in Aron Baynes and Mitch Creek and you’ve got six NBA stars – and the word star is completely justified for all these guys. And that’s not to mention the NBL stars like Chris Goulding and European star Jock Landale. This is no amateur team.

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On the other side you’ve got what many might call a second-string USA team. But that team includes Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum as well as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Khris Middleton. Yes, the US won’t field its best team, but the team they will field is still filled with NBA talent. It’s a younger team, but many of these guys are the future of the NBA.

As for the game itself, the same crew that convert football stadiums for NCAA final four games will take the reigns at Marvel. Massive multimedia screens and an NBA-worthy court setup will make this an experience like nothing seen in Australia. And everything else aside, these are the final hit=outs for two teams considered medal hopes for the upcoming World Cup. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?

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The problem we have here is that Aussie fans are still too focused on the NBA. The National Basketball Association is arguably the biggest, most profitable and most popular sporting product in the world – in fact it is probably one of the biggest entertainment products full stop. There is no other basketball competition in the world that comes close to the NBA. The flow-on effect for Australia is that most Australian fans are more interested in the NBA than our local competition.

The truth of the matter is that many Aussie hoop ‘fans’ wouldn’t be able to tell you who plays for the Opals, who our best local players are or even who won the NBL championship last year (shock, horror!). The sad reality is that when these exhibition games were announced, many fans chose to view it as an NBA extravaganza rather than a historic, home-soil match for our Boomers ahead of an extremely important World Cup campaign. And now that Little Johnny won’t get to see LeBron James or Steph Curry play, what’s the point of going?

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It’s even sadder given Australian basketball is thriving at the moment. You might even say it’s the best it’s ever been. NBA representation aside, the local game is going gangbusters. The NBL has reached new heights with international acclaim, fantastic media coverage, a new free-to-air deal with SBS, an extremely competitive competition players across the world are looking at and huge signings, including two of the biggest NBA prospects in America

We’ve just crowned champions in the inaugural NBL1, a new feeder series that gives the best men and women ballers in the country the opportunity to showcase their skills. On the international stage we’ve seen recent medals for the Opals, under-19 girls, under-17 girls, men’s and women’s 3×3 teams and the Rollers wheelchair team. Participation and interest in basketball is at an all-time high across the country.

It’s sad to think that even with all this positivity fans are still not interested enough in Aussie hoops to want to sit courtside and cheer on our lads on one of the biggest stages possible. It is an insult to Australian basketball that people are turning their back on these games. Yes, ticket prices are expensive and, yes, we were misguided by advertising, but we’re still getting a pretty bloody good deal. We should be throwing our full support behind it regardless of how many NBA players show up.

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We should be showing the world how much we care about the sport. Instead, I fear that there will be a lot of empty seats at Marvel Stadium on Thursday and Saturday, and while it will still be a spectacle and a fitting send-off for both teams as they head to China, it could have been so much more. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Source: theroar.com.au

Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading experts in the construction, maintenance and cleaning of premium Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. All courts are built and maintained to current FIBA standards and use ASF/Horner Flooring Systems exclusively.

For a premium playing surface, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Enquire about a complete refurbishment of your playing surface or simply schedule the ultimate in professional Court Cleaning.

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The Young Boomers – Australia’s latest crop.

Every year more young Australians are both nominated for the NBA draft and being accepted by a wide range of teams within the conference.

The standard of Australian Basketball is now at an all time high with our National team, the Boomers, considered a top hope in this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup to be staged in China this September. This is the Men’s Championship. The Women’s Competition is held non-sequentially with the next World Cup event scheduled for 2022 in Bulgaria.

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The standard of Australian Basketball owes much to the improvement of Court facilities nationally. The proliferation of proper Sprung Timber Sports Flooring has occurred at a rapid rate since 2007, with many schools now boasting multipurpose Timber Sports Flooring courts. As well the federal and State Governments have actively funded State regional and suburban stadiums and Court complexes.

For the last 10-12 years, young students and community competitions have enjoyed the benefits of fully professional FIBA approved playing surfaces. No longer is there a transition period from hard surfaces to timber sports flooring and the consequent period of adjustment.

This season’s crop of young Boomers is living testimony to these advances.

Read about it here…

FIBA World Cup 2019: Boomers of the future – Who will lead the next generation of Aussies?

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With the Boomers assembling in Melbourne for their pre-World Cup selection camp, the squad is infused with a mixture of young and old.

Veterans Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, and Aron Baynes will lead the way once again in China at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, with Mills acknowledging the role of the senior players in fostering a winning environment for the program.

“Our leadership group has a responsibility to pass on what it means to be a Boomer and play for your country and make sure this program is at its peak knowing the type of talent coming through,” Mills said.

“We understand where we want this program to go and to achieve the number one goal of winning a medal and a gold medal as well.”

While the core group still has plenty of productive years ahead, with one eye on the future, we look at the Aussies who will carry the torch down the track as they usher in the next generation of Boomers.

Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers – age 23)

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While Simmons won’t be in China for the World Cup, the All-Star point guard has re-affirmed his commitment to pulling on the green and gold in Tokyo next year as Australia chases its first Olympic medal for the men’s team.

Simmons gives the Boomers a commanding presence at the point guard position, ensuring a mismatch every time he steps on the floor, but given Australia’s glut of guards, the 6-foot-10 powerhouse can also be deployed as a power forward with his size and ability to finish at the rim.

Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers – age 23)

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Bolden is set to make his Boomers debut this year and figures as a key contributor at the World Cup.

At 6-foot-10, with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Bolden gives the Boomers a key frontcourt piece for right now and in the future, with the flexibility to play as an international four or five.

Alongside Bogut and Baynes in the paint, Bolden’s athleticism and length provides the Boomers with a versatile floor-spacing big for coach Andrej Lemanis to switch things up and expect to see him get plenty of burn in China.

“It would mean the world to the country, and to the players themselves,” Bolden told Basketball Australia of winning a medal. “So for me, that’s obviously the goal… It’s definitely a challenge but I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure the other guys are looking forward to it as well.

“It’s always been a dream to play for the national team growing up. Being born and raised in Australia, for me it’s exciting times.”

Jock Landale (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania – age 23)

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Landale is on the cusp of making the Boomers squad for China after an impressive Summer League campaign for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 18.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on 55 percent shooting from the field.

The 23-year-old continues to expand his game and has developed a reliable three-point shot to compliment his already polished low-post game.

Deng Adel (Brooklyn Nets – age 22)

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Perhaps Australia’s greatest area of need down the track is depth on the wing, with Ingles and Ryan Broekhoff, who will miss the World Cup, currently the Boomers best options on the perimeter.

While Adel doesn’t have the same threat from beyond the arc as Ingles and Broekhoff, the 22-year-old continues to improve as a shooter. Widely expected to make the roster for China, Adel’s high motor and athleticism will give the Boomers another transition threat at the World Cup and beyond.

Dante Exum (Utah Jazz – age 24)

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Exum won’t be in China for the World Cup as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, however he looks to be a certain stalwart for the Boomers down the track.

Mills and Dellavedova have had a monopoly on Australia’s point guard duties in recent years, but if the Utah Jazz point guard can stay healthy next season, he will be primed to play a big role at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons – age 22)

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Maker made his Boomers debut last year against the Phillippines, but will miss the upcoming World Cup to focus on his development with the Detroit Pistons.

While Bolden and Landale are currently with the squad in camp, Maker has the highest ceiling of new wave of big men and with his size and shot-blocking ability, he projects to have a bright future in international basketball and will push for selection at next year’s Olympics.

Josh Green (Arizona – age 18)

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Green is the youngest of the group and is yet to even play a game in the NCAA, but all indicators point to him being a high draft pick in 2020. Will that be too soon to see him in Tokyo? Most likely, but Green is certainly one to watch for the future.

The springy 18-year-old looks every bit the modern NBA combo guard at 6-foot-6 and alongside Exum and Simmons could form a dynamic playmaking trio for the Boomers.

Source: sportingnews.com

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Ben Simmons in Melbourne

Did you miss it? Ben Simmons conducted his third annual Basketball Camp Melbourne – 2019 on July 28th out at Mullum Mullum Stadium in Donvale. Here’s a boy returning to his roots – he went to Secondary College at nearby Whitefriars College.

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With 4.3 million Instagram followers, it’s obvious this guy is numero uno with the fans right now. For their entertainment he toured the Melbourne Zoo, the Street Art Alleyways (Hey! Let’s call it what it is – Graffiti – but oh so high quality. Real art. Remember Banksy has done Melbourne). Photo ops with kiddies and koalas, Ben and a dingo – it’s all very human and very cool.

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Then the press has jumped on him for opting out of the FIBA World Cup scheduled for China in a months time. But perhaps it’s timely to consider what Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis has to say on the matter.

Boomers hit back at Simmons backlash ‘doing a disservice’ to World Cup team

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says the noise around the withdrawal of Ben Simmons for the World Cup warm-up games is “doing a disservice” to the same squad that captivated the country at the 2016 Olympics.

The Boomers, powered by Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut, were denied bronze in Brazil in an agonising one-point loss to Spain that is still raw with the players.

The addition of NBA All-Star Ben Simmons was touted as the missing piece as Australia hunt a maiden international medal at the World Cup in China from September 1.

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The Philadelphia 76ers talent was forced to twice retreat from his initial Boomers commitment though, first pulling out of the World Cup and last week excusing himself from Australia’s four lead-up games against the USA and Canada in Melbourne and Perth.

That, along with multiple high-profile US withdrawals, earned the ire of some fans, who Lemanis said would soon be reminded of the Australian squad’s depth.

“It’s doing a disservice to the talent available to us,” Lemanis said of the grumbles.

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“We’ve got four NBA champions (Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Bogut and Mills) plus Joe Ingles who starts on a great NBA team (Utah Jazz) and a core of the group that did well in Rio and captured the imagination of the Australian public,” he said.

“We’ve got a talented team that is perhaps being undersold by the tension put on Ben not playing.

“Hopefully we can digest and think ‘we’ve still got a good team and they share the ball, it’ll be fun to watch’ and that is what people enjoyed about Rio.”

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A 17-man squad will gather in Melbourne on Friday, with the final 12-man World Cup roster due to be announced next week.

Australia will face Canada, Senegal and Lithuania in their World Cup pool games, with the final in Beijing on September 15.

“To have players on hand with the talent required (to win the World Cup) is just awesome,” Lemanis said.

“You don’t need the stars and planets to align to have a chance of winning and that’s a good feeling.

“It’s not even a feeling of pressure or extra pressure; it’s your own self-motivation.”

Source: wwos.nine.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.