Andrej Lemanis, Shane Heal and Marty Clarke will work with Brown and the Australian men’s basketball team through to the London Olympics in 2012.
In addition, Bill Tomlinson has been selected as a Network Coach to assist in the development and preparation of athletes on an individual basis.
“I am extremely happy with the selections,” Boomers Head Coach Brett Brown said from the United States.
“Marty has a terrific record with the junior program and knows the playing group well from their time together at the Institute; as a 4-time Olympian and former Boomers Captain Shane is an untapped resource of great value and an inspirational leader; Andrej has an outstanding knowledge of the game and has done very good things with the New Zealand Breakers; and Billy has been one of the top coaches in Australia for the past 25 years.”
“They are a competitive, astute group and together we are excited to embrace the difficult challenge of securing Australian men’s basketball’s first medal in senior men’s competition.”
Importantly, the selections assist in the integration of Basketball Australia’s men’s national teams; with Brown leading the Boomers, Clarke heading the Under-19s and Tomlinson guiding the Australian Universities men’s team.
“We have entered a new era for the Boomers and I am excited and hopeful about what this coaching staff can deliver,” Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock said.
Lemanis, Heal, Clarke and Tomlinson replace Brendan Joyce (2004 Olympic Games, 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2006 World Championship; 2008 Olympic Games) and Gordon McLeod (2008 Olympic Games).
The Boomers’ 2009 campaign begins on June 20 with a camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and ends at the Boris Stankovic Cup in China on September 1.
After an NBL playing career with the St Kilda Saints, the South Melbourne Saints and the South East Melbourne Magic (Championship winners in 1992), Lemanis coached in the second-tier ABA before becoming assistant coach of the Townsville Crocodiles. He held that role for seven years before becoming the head coach of the New Zealand Breakers in 2005, a position he has held for the past four years, during which time he has helped transform the club from an also-ran to a playoff contender while exhibiting outstanding player management skills. He was also an assistant coach with the Australian men’s Under-23 team in 2005.
A four-time Olympian (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004) and Captain of the Boomers in Athens, Heal contested three World Championships (1987 Junior, 1994, 1998) as a player over an illustrious career that spanned two decades and 15 NBL seasons (including Captaining the Sydney Kings to their first Championship in 2003) and stints in America’s NBA as well as Greece and Italy. A legend in Australian sport, Heal ranks 7th in basketball games played for Australia with 198. He was Captain/Coach of the South Dragons in the NBL’s 2006/07 season, leading the club to the playoffs in its inaugural year, and retired from playing at the conclusion of the 2008/09 NBL season with the Gold Coast Blaze.
A scholarship holder at the AIS as a player from 1985-87, a national junior Captain at the 1987 World Championship and an NBL championship winner with the North Melbourne Giants in 1989, Clarke was the assistant coach of the AIS Men's Basketball Program from 1998-2003 before being elevated to the Head Coach position in 2004; a role he will continue to hold until the conclusion of the FIBA World Championship for Under-19 men in July. He has been Head Coach of the Australian Under-19 men’s team for the past five years, leading them at the 2007 World Championship, and with extensive experience in the National Intensive Training Program, Clarke has an extensive knowledge of Australia’s elite basketball pathways as well as the athletes involved.
A National Basketball League Head Coach (144 games) with the Hobart Devils (1993-96) and the Sydney Kings (1998-99) and an assistant coach with the Kings for 10 seasons under Brett Brown and Brian Goorjian (including three Championship victories), Tomlinson has also had stints coaching the Sydney Flames in the Women's National Basketball League in 1997 and 2000 (42 games).