27 Jul
    10 Aug 2024

    Ten Tokyo Medalists, Giddey headline list of Australian Olympic hopefuls

    SYDNEY (Australia) - Ten players that helped Australia capture their historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Games are in the country's 22-man preliminary squad for this summer's Olympics.

    SYDNEY (Australia) -  Ten players who helped Australia capture their historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Games are in the country's 22-man preliminary squad for this summer's Olympics.

    Australia followed that success with a second straight FIBA Asia Cup title in 2022 but then finished 10th at last year's FIBA Basketball World Cup.

    Joe Ingles, Patty Mills, Josh Green, Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum, Jock Landale, Chris Goulding, Matthew Dellavedova, Duop Reath and Nick Kay were in the Australia side that reached the Olympic podium for the first time, in Japan, and are on the preliminary list.

    Dellavedova, a former NBA champion with Cleveland, was not selected for the World Cup but now has a chance to play at the Olympics for the fourth time.

    Dellavedova was a linchpin in the Australia teams at the Olympic Games in 2012, 2016 and 2021

    Josh Giddey, winner of the Wanda Rising Star Award at the World Cup after averaging 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, is in the squad, as are Dyson Daniels, Jack White and Xavier Cooks. Daniels, White and Cooks all played at the World Cup.

    Coach Brian Goorjian has also included DJ Vasilijevic and Rocco Zikarsky, who impressed for the Boomers against Korea and Indonesia in the February window of the FIBA 2025 Asia Cup Qualifiers.

    Both have had solid NBL campaigns, as have Jack McVeigh, Will Magnay, Keanu Pinder, Sam Froling and Will McDowell-White - five others that are in the preliminary squad.

    Australia 22-man squad for Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris

    Xavier Cooks Dyson Daniels Matthew Dellavedova Dante Exum
    Sam Froling Johnny Furphy Josh Giddey Chris Goulding
    Josh Green Joe Ingles Nick Kay Jock Landale
    Keanu Pinder Will Magnay Patty Mills Will McDowell-White
    Jack McVeigh Duop Reath Matisse Thybulle Dejan Vasilijevic 
    Jack White  Rocco Zikarsky    


    Former NBA No. 1 pick Ben Simmons has not been named because of a back injury.

    Australia fell short of expectations at the 2023 World Cup yet Goorjian, who coached the Boomers in Okinawa, said in a statement announcing the preliminary squad that last summer's tournament marked a new beginning for the national team.

    "We were able to introduce some new faces and identify areas that we needed to advance and improve," he said.

    "We've been actively monitoring the Aussie players across international leagues in USA, Europe and Asia as well as domestically in the NBL and we're confident in the potential chemistry of this list.

    "The complexity of international tournaments like the Olympics is that you have a relatively short window to train and prepare – so you have to identify and implement a style works fast and amplifies the collective skill set.

    "There's always a correlation made of our offensive play with European styles, which is interesting considering there isn't a whole lot of exposure to the Euro system with our
    players.

    "What we have experienced is the emergence of Australians at the top level overseas and the evolution of the NBL as a world class league with high powered scoring offenses, so we want
    to drive a game that is familiar but unique to our group."

    Australia suffered a terrible blow before the World Cup when Landale got hurt before the tournament yet one positive was that it created more playing time for Reath. Goorjian said the minutes he gained due to Landale's absence "fast-tracked his development."

    "Looking to the Olympics, we will have Jock Landale available for selection and the added
    versatility of Kay, Xavier Cooks as well as guys like Will Magnay and Rocco Zikarsky," Goorjian said.

    The talented and experienced Landale brings size and toughness to the Boomers frontcourt

    "We've also introduced more depth across shooters in the squad with veteran Chris Goulding joined by Dyson Daniels, Jack McVeigh and DJ Vasilijevic." 

    Australia were recently drawn in Group A with Canada, who finished third at the World Cup. The other two teams in that group will be the winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Piraeus and Valencia.

    "We're really excited at this opportunity," Goorjian said. "The consensus is that the tournament will be at an unseen level with the talent and international NBA star-power across the teams.

    "I will emphasize and instill with the group that we're not aiming to match or replicate the style of game heading our way from other nations. Our goal is to beat them.

    "We're going to play Aussie ball. And we're going to go at them with all we've got."

    FIBA

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