Gibson and Martin's long road to world titles

Gibson and Martin's long road to world titles

Adam Gibson and Damian Martin, the only two Boomers currently competing in the NBL, have come a heck of a long way to end up on Australia's basketball world championship squad in Turkey.

Gibson won NBL championships with Brisbane in 2007 and the South Dragons in 2009, but the Bullets folded one year later while the Dragons closed their doors shortly after winning their first and only title.

He also enjoyed a little too much cheer after the Dragons won their championship, so Gibson decided to buy some gym equipment for his home at the end of last season with new club Gold Coast so he could keep in shape as he chased his world championship dream.

Martin meanwhile suffered a series of debilitating injuries that began as a junior and continued while he was at Loyola Marymount University in California and after he was signed by another now-defunct NBL club, the West Sydney Razorbacks.

During that period, a berth at a world championship seemed light years away.

"At that stage I just wanted to try and make it in the NBL," Martin told AAP in Turkey.

"I always wanted to play for Australia but at that stage I just wanted to get back on the court.

"I had a period where I broke my wrist three times in five years and then I snapped my Achilles tendon and missed a year of college in the US and then I did my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), so it was a bit of a horror run for a while.

"Touch wood I've been injury-free now for 12 months, which doesn't sound like a long time, but considering the stretch I had before that it feels great."

All members of the Australian team in Turkey are in terrific shape physically, with the likes of David Andersen, Aleks Maric, Joe Ingles and David Barlow all showing the benefits of intensive fitness regimes.

It is proving vital for the Boomers, who have beaten Germany and Jordan and suffered a two-point loss to Argentina to be well-placed nearing the knock-out rounds.

Fitness wasn't always Gibson's forte, but he has made it one of his strengths and it was a significant factor in him earning a spot in coach Brett Brown's final squad of 12.

"Right at the end of the season I bought a treadmill and some boxing equipment," he said.

"It meant I didn't have to drive to use gym equipment. I could just wake up and jump on the treadmill and it made me use it.

"After the Dragons season I had about three months off and it was then way too hard to get back, so I made sure I was doing stuff constantly to stay in shape and get ready.

"I definitely did (put on weight) and we won the title too so there was a pretty big celebration.

"A few kilos might not seem like much but when you've got to run up and down the floor a heap of times it does make a difference."

Gibson showed his growing maturity after missing a potential game-winning shot as time expired against Argentina.

The 23-year-old had an open look that agonisingly rimmed out, but Gibson insisted he didn't dwell on it as he prepared to face Germany the following day.

"No, not really. You make shots, you miss shots, that one just happened to roll out, it was a good look and it just didn't drop," he said.

"We had other plays in the game we could've fixed to not be in that position.

"I didn't really worry about it too much."

Both Gibson and Martin were told that defence, fitness, shooting ability and taking care of the basketball would be keys to them making the world championship cut.

It was in the back of both of their minds during the past NBL season and they are proud to be the only two players representing the Australian domestic league.

And both are enjoying significant court time in Turkey.

"It's weird, you look at teams in the past and there's always a lot more than two guys from the NBL," Martin said.

"But that just shows how much stronger the quality is of Australian players that they can go and chase the big dollars overseas.

"The quality of the NBL is fantastic, it's just that there's more money overseas and these guys have got an opportunity to go and play.

"It feels good that we do have some representatives from the NBL.

"It's something we're both very proud of and hopefully next year there'll be some more NBL players in the team and there's no reason why not because the quality is as strong as the NBL's been in a long time."

AAP – James Dampney