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AUS - Exum, Bairstow claim spots in Boomers' squad

CANBERRA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Recent NBA draft picks Dante Exum and Cameron Bairstow have been included in the Australia squad to play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The rising stars are on the 12-man roster announced on Monday by Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis.

Exum, 19, was a lottery selection by the Utah Jazz last month while 23-year-old Bairstow was taken in the second round by the Chicago Bulls.

Both featured in the Australia squad that won last year's FIBA Oceania Championship against New Zealand.

Recently crowned NBA champion Aron Baynes is in the talented team that will compete in Group D, in Gran Canaria, against Mexico, Angola, Korea, Slovenia and Lithuania.

Australia have lost Baynes' San Antonio Spurs teammate Pat Mills to injury but still have an explosive backcourt that includes Exum and Olympic guard Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Brock Motum, who shone for the Boomers in the Sino/Australia Challenge, has earned a spot in the squad.

In terms of experience, three-time Olympian David Andersen will feature in his fifth major international tournament.

There are also veterans on the roster with Joe Ingles, Adam Gibson and Brad Newley making the final 12.

Others to make the team include sharp-shooting guard Chris Goulding, Ryan Broekhoff and center Nathan Jawai.

Jawai's 2013-14 season with Galatasaray was cut short by injury but he has returned to full fitness and is now set to make his bow in a major tournament for his national side.

"The selection process has been vigorous and thorough," Lemanis said in a Basketball Australia statement.

"The really positive news for Australian basketball is that we have a depth of talent available now - which made final selection certainly challenging.

"The team would like to thank the five players who missed selection for their contribution - all are wonderful people and tremendous basketball players.

"I have always said that difficult decisions would need to be made, and it was very tough as a staff to settle on the ultimate squad, which is a tremendous credit to all who competed at the camp."

Lemanis also paid tribute to the players who took part in the Sino/Australia Challenge.

The Boomers leave for Europe on 5 August and will have nine friendly games.

"Now that we have settled on a team, I look forward to building together over the next month," Lemanis said.

"We all know there is plenty to be done to achieve the result we all desire.

"We also know we have the people, chemistry and talent to attack the challenge ahead with confidence."

The Boomers first game in Gran Canaria will be on 30 August against Slovenia.