Dante Exum, one of the promising players in the NBA, has declared that the Australian basketball national team this year is one of the best in Aussie basketball history. Exum, along with the rest of the Boomers, is back in the country to prepare for the FIBA World Cup in Spain set in August later this year.
Exum was drafted by the Utah Jazz as the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is considered one of the top rookies to join the league this season.
"The excitement of me and Bear [Bairstow] getting drafted, Patty and Baynes with an NBA championship, there's so much buzz around the game and people wanting to get involved,'' Exum said to the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's been really good. Coach [Quin] Snyder has been introducing me into the program and it's exciting.”
Patty Mills is a member of the 2014 champion squad San Antonio Spurs and was a key member in their run to the 2014 NBA title. He is joined fellow Australian Aron Baynes in the Spurs roster.
Mills will most likely miss the World Cup in Spain but Baynes is expected to suit up for the national team. Other NBAers in the line-up are Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cameron Bairstow of the Chicago Bulls.
Other Boomers in the pool that will participate in the Australian training camp include Angus Brandt (Sydney Kings), Adam Gibson (Adelaide 36ers), Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Lucas Walker (Melbourne United) and Mark Worthington (Melbourne United) from Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).
Those playing from Europe/America are David Anderson (Strasbourg, France), Ryan Broekhoff (Besiktas, Turkey), Joe Ingles (Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Israel), Brok Motum (Bologna, Italy), Brad Newley (Gran Canaria, Spain), Ben Simmons (Montverde Academy, USA) and Nathan Jawai (Galatasaray, Turkey)
"I still think we can do something special in Spain.'' Dellavedova stated in the same article.
To do something special, Australia has to first survive its group that includes Angola, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico and Slovenia. The Boomers are pegged to advance from the group stage and expected to advance to the knockout stages.
The FIBA World Cup 2014 in Spain is scheduled from August 30 to September 14, 2014.