Golden Star Boomers to play China in two-game friendly

Golden Star Boomers to play China in two-game friendly

The Australian Men’s National Basketball Team, the Golden Star Boomers, is set to play a two-game series against China later this month, as they begin preparations for the FIBA Oceania Olympic Qualification series with New Zealand scheduled for September.

The two friendlies – the first being played in Perth on June 24, with the series then moving to Singapore for the second match-up on June 26 – will conclude a five-day Perth-based camp, the team’s first for 2011.

The two-game series, known as the YouYi (Friendly) Games, will become an annual competition between the two nations, who fittingly sit one place apart from each other in the current FIBA rankings – the Boomers in ninth and China in tenth.

Australian Boomers head coach Brett Brown is excited by the match-up, which will give the Boomers quality competition early in their preparations against one of the top Basketball nations in the world. 

“At the end of the camp, we are excited to play two games against China,” said Coach Brown.

“We have always enjoyed a competitive, respectful relationship with China and we are anxious to continue this in our two game series,” he said. 

An initiative of ex-Boomers star and Australian basketball champion Andrew Vlahov, the YouYi Games will be hosted by the West Australian Government, in association with events and marketing company, RV Sports.

The camp will see a squad of 16 players, headlined by 2010 World Championship team members David Barlow and Aron Baynes, put through their paces from 19-23 June, before a team of 12 is chosen to battle it out with China.

“Our ability to get some core players and some young potential Olympians together at this early stage is always a positive from a coaching perspective,” said Coach Brown.

“The camp will introduce some new faces, allowing these future prospects their first opportunity to play in the green and gold and be seen by the coaching staff,” he said.

Brown also expressed his eagerness to bring the national team back to Perth for the camp, a city passionate about the sport, and expects the players to show an equal amount of passion when they take to the floor against China.  

“We are excited to go back to Perth for the upcoming camp,” he said.

“Our experience from previous Boomers camps and games in Perth have always been extremely well organised. The facilities are first class. We are aware that we are coming into a basketball-savvy part of Australia who appreciate good basketball. I am confident that the players selected from our camp will play with the same type of passion and represent Australia in a way we are proud of,” he said.

Australian Boomers squad for Perth Camp, 19-23 June

Adam Gibson, Gold Coast Blaze
Damian Martin, Perth Wildcats
Jason Cadee, Gold Coast Blaze
Ben Madgen, Sydney Kings
Clint Steindl, St Marys
Daniel Dillon, Melbourne Tigers
Peter Crawford, Townsville Crocodiles
David Barlow, CAI Zaragoza Spain
Daniel Kickert, PGE Turow, Poland
Jesse Wagstaff, Perth Wildcats
Luke Nevill, Triumph Lyubertsy, Russia
Stephen Weigh, Adelaide 36’ers
Julian Khazzouh, Sydney Kings
Matt Knight, Perth Wildcats
Anatoly Bose, Nicholls State University
Aron Baynes, EWE Basket Oldenburg