'Standout candidate': Basketball fans hail new Boomers coach

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
Pictured here, Brian Goorjian is the current coach of the NBL's Illawarra Hawks.
Brian Goorjian's appointment as Boomers coach is a popular one with Aussie basketball fans. Pic: Getty

Basketball Australia has turned to one if its favourite foreign sons to guide the Boomers in next year's Tokyo Olympic Games.

Brian Goorjian will lead the Aussies at next year's Tokyo Games after being appointed head coach of the Boomers through to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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The six-time NBL Championship coach will take the reins as the Boomers commence their nine-month preparation for the Tokyo Games, scheduled for July 23 until August 8.

Goorjian is no stranger to the expectation of an Olympic Games, having coached the Boomers to ninth place at Athens 2004 and four years later to the quarter-finals in Beijing.

Post-Beijing, the American broadened his international experience by spending two years with the Japanese national team and then made his mark in China over 11 years, making him the longest-serving foreign coach to date.

Brian Goorjian addresses media after being confirmed as the new coach of the Boomers.
Goorjian will lead the Boomers in his third Olympic Games campaign with the Aussie men's side. Pic: Getty

Between 1988 and 2009, Goorjian coached 735 NBL games for 514 wins, at an incredible winning strike rate of 70 per cent.

Over that time, he amassed six championships, six Lindsay Gaze NBL Coach of the Year awards, 19 consecutive NBL play-off appearances and 13 NBL grand final series.

His appointment has proved particularly popular for basketball fans in Australia.

Basketball Australia picks ‘standout candidate’

"Brian's success as a coach both domestically and internationally, plus his experience on the Olympic stage made him a standout candidate for this prestigious role," Basketball Australia boss Jerril Rechter AM said.

Highly regarded for his relentless determination in getting the absolute best from the teams he manages, Goorjian leads and fast tracks the improvement of individual athletes.

The current Hawks head coach in the NBL has previously introduced Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills and Joe Ingles to the Olympic stage.

Goorjian is renown as an elite high-performance system leader whose capacity to adapt quickly will be needed as the road to Tokyo is still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Australia is very fortunate to have such a talented group of athletes at this time," Goorjian said.

"There is certainly a feeling of unfinished business, so there is a strong commitment from these players to participating in the Tokyo Olympics."

Goorjian's appointment as Boomers head coach will not impact on his role with the Hawks in the NBL.

"The entire Hawks organisation is thrilled for Brian and this opportunity. Brian's approach to the game and his insight are second to none," Hawks co-owner and president Dorry Kordahi said.

with Yahoo Sport staff

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