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22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
13 Jock Landale (AUS)
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Goorjian hands over reigns to Rob Beveridge for World Cup Qualifiers window in Japan

SYDNEY (Australia) - Australia will start their FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification campaign under new leadership as Brian Goorjian hands the head coaching reins to Rob Beveridge.

After guiding the Boomers to a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Goorjian has stepped aside for a man he says will be pivotal to Australia’s immediate and ongoing success.

"There is no doubt for me that Rob’s international experience and his extensive work developing emerging talent will be integral to our success in Japan," Goorjian said.

"He’ll be well supported by Mike [Kelly] and Robbie [McKinlay] who have a great understanding of the elite emerging talent in the NBL."

Beveridge’s coaching experience includes winning the National Basketball League (NBL) title with the Perth Wildcats in 2009, coaching the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and most recently has been head coach of the Southland Sharks in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL).

Kelly is currently an assistant head coach with the Wildcats in the NBL, while McKinley is the Head Coach at the Centre of Excellence.

The coaching staff will also include Shawn Dennis, current head coach of the Shiga Lakestars in Japan’s B.League.

Australia will play three games in four days as their road to the World Cup gets underway in Okinawa in February with a pair of clashes against Chinese Taipei and one against Japan.

For Beveridge, his appointment to the top job is a dream come true.

"Representing your country is the ultimate honor and to be given an opportunity to lead the Boomers against Chinese Taipei and Japan is an absolute privilege."

"I sincerely want to thank Basketball Australia and Brian Goorjian for their belief that I can lead our country during this FIBA window. I am sure that our coaching staff, support staff and the team that we assemble in these very trying times will represent the Boomers with distinction and do everyone proud."

While the NBL typically schedules a "bye" round for FIBA World Cup qualifiers, the rescheduling of so many games has made it unviable on this occasion and the league is working closely with Basketball Australia to ensure the Boomers are able to send the strongest squad available to them in the circumstances.