Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons headlines an NBA-heavy Boomers roster that has been announced ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Simmons, the first pick in the 2016 draft, is one of 12 NBA players on the roster alongside 76ers teammate Matisse Thybulle.
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The likes of NBA regulars Patty Mills (San Antonio), Joe Ingles (Utah), Aron Baynes (Toronto) and Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland) have also rejoined the squad after competing at the 2016 Brazil Games.
NBA rookies Josh Green (Dallas) and Will Magnay (New Orleans) will also make their Boomers debut in Tokyo.
Simmons said he was thrilled to be one step closer to realising his Olympic dreams.
“It would be an amazing honour to play for my country,” Simmons said.
“I know things are uncertain right now, but I’ve been in touch with coach (Brian) Goorjian and we’re hopeful I can join the Boomers.”
Fans were thrilled when the team roster was announced on social media.
Delly Goulding Thybulle
Ingles Broekhoff Creek
Bloody hard to get a 12 finalised, some good players will miss out.
— Andrew French (@AFrenchy_91) February 3, 2021
Matisse Thybulle will cause carnage for the Boomers at the Olympics. Massive get for them.
— Sean McNerney (@SeanMcMM) February 3, 2021
Finally an Olympic Medal for the Boomers?
Excited to finally see @BenSimmons25 in the green & gold alongside @Patty_Mills, @matthewdelly & @MatisseThybulle #Olympics #Tokyo2020 https://t.co/pQLgPGlsbl
— Stephen Alderton (@SAldertonAU) February 3, 2021
/laughs in Boomers Tokyo Olympics/ https://t.co/UnnxGWoYGJ
— Ben Quagliata (@bensquag) February 3, 2021
Boomers coach thrilled by Ben Simmons inclusion
The Boomers will enter the Tokyo Olympics third in the FIBA rankings, behind the USA and Spain.
Head coach Brian Goorjian said he was delighted to have a strong combination of young players and veterans with both Olympic and NBA experience.
“It is a well-balanced squad selected by position with a nice blend of experience coupled with a lot of new and exciting players coming through,” he said.
“These are our top 24 available players and included is significant representation from the NBL, showing the strength of our local league where the standard of competition is recognised worldwide.
“I have spoken to each player over the past fortnight and have been extremely impressed, to a man, by their overwhelming desire to play for Australia in Tokyo.”
Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding the 2021 Games and whether or not they risk being postponed, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said on Tuesday that Japan would hold the Summer Olympics regardless of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and was working closely with the International Olympic Committee to make them happen.
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