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August 2016
6 Andrew BOGUT (Australia)
11/02/2016
News
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Bogut enthusiastic about Boomers' present, and future

OAKLAND (2016 Rio Olympics) - Andrew Bogut admits that he and his Australia teammates speak often about the Olympics that are coming up this year. It's going to be another lifetime event for each and every one of them.

The 31-year-old Bogut, who captured his first NBA title with the Golden State Warriors last year, is eager to play at the Summer Game again. It's something he did in 2004 in Athens and also in 2008 in Beijing but not in London four years ago because of an injury.

"Yes, we talk very often about it, mainly on a group chat on our phones," the veteran pivot said to FIBA.com.

The Olympics are special for Bogut, but so is the opportunity to join his friends in the national team. He loves representing his country. 

It’s a different feeling for a professional, we are not paid for that – some national teams do, we don’t – you don’t experience the NBA lifestyle with all the travel and the comfort that we have during the year, but it humbles you and that’s good. It’s enjoyable; it’s a great thing to go to the Olympics, to be around the top athletes in the world. - Bogut

Australia booked their place at the Rio de Janeiro Games by winning the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship. Bogut was very influential in the two wins over the New Zealand Tall Blacks.

So how good will this year's Australian team be? Bogut doesn't know if the Boomers are going to reach the podium for the first time. He can't make that sort of guarantee. But what he can promise is that the Boomers are going to give everything they have to not only finish in the top three, but to win it.

The goal is to win. I don’t think that any team that goes to the Olympics says 'hey, let’s try to get eighth!' We are going to try to win it, there are other teams who are favorites, but we are going to give our best. We don’t want to be fifth or sixth, we are going to try to win. - Bogut

One look at a full strength Australia roster and there is very good reason to believe that this could be a team to reach the podium. There are several players logging big minutes in the NBA and others that are competing with top clubs in Europe.

Andrej Lemanis, the Australia coach, also has big talents in the American college system. Among them is the possible No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft, Ben Simmons of Louisiana State University.

No matter what happens this summer, it's a certainty that Australia will continue to have a very good team. Bogut thinks the future is "going to be huge."

You see how many great basketball players we have been developing, it’s unbelievable for a country of 20 million people," Bogut said. "Years go by and we keep producing great players, which is even greater for a country of our size. But more important than that aspect, we keep being competitive.

"The coaches and the players deserve a lot of credit for that, as the job is really well done in the different ages and young teams too."

FIBA