Daniels aims to pip Boomers veterans for World Cup spot

·2-min read

Rising basketball star Dyson Daniels knows it's not going to be easy if he wants to knock off several Boomers veterans for a coveted spot in Australia's World Cup side.

The 20-year-old established himself as a quality defender, making 59 appearances and 11 starts in his rookie year in the NBA with New Orleans.

The point guard is now looking to go further with the national side at this year's Basketball World Cup.

"This was my dream as a kid was to play for the Boomers. So I'm one step closer now," he said.

"It's going to be a competitive training camp because there's a lot of great players in this camp and there's only 12 spots."

Three-time Olympian Matthew Dellavedova and NBA Oklahoma player Josh Giddey loom as Daniels' main rivals for a spot on the world No.3 team.

"You don't expect anyone to take a backward step, because everyone's competing for a spot," Daniels said.

"These guys have been in the team for a while now. And they're the ones that have carried this legacy.

"They're just coming off a (bronze) medal at the Olympics so it's going to be tough to take their position.

"But I'm going to be out there doing my best, pushing them, playing my game, and just showing that I deserve to be on this team."

An 18-man squad will head to Cairns for a training camp before travelling to Melbourne for a warm-up tournament against top-20 sides Brazil, Venezuela and fast-improving South Sudan ahead of the World Cup.

Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian praised the quality in the side and signalled it will be a tough tussle for spots.

"It's pretty difficult, it's pretty competitive in a lot of positions," Goorjian said.

"I don't think we've got a team of this quality play at home for a long, long time.

"This may be the best group of players ever assembled by Australia."

But Daniels remains confident the lessons he's learnt during his rookie year in the NBA will put him in good stead for team selection.

"The Boomers have built a great culture - the legacy - and it's like a big family here in Australia, but it's going to be all go on the floor trying to earn my spot."

Australia will face Finland, Germany and co-hosts Japan in Group E in tournament starting on August 10 with the champion to be crowned in the Philippines on September 10.