Lemanis lays down the challenge to Boomers

Lemanis lays down the challenge to Boomers

Australian Boomers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis has thrown down the challenge to players to force their way into calculations for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup as preparations for the 2014 Sino-Australia Challenge heat up.

Speaking to media at the conclusion of practice on Monday at Perth’s Aquinas College, Lemanis said the opportunities on offer have been clearly stated to the squad of 14.

“We spoke to this group when they first arrived in Perth and spoke about the fact there are people in this room who will go to the World Cup,” Lemanis said.

“And as a result there’s going to be some great news stories to come out if it. Perhaps three months ago these guys weren’t considered a chance to go to the World Cup, but they could be on the team.

“If you go through the reality of it, there are probably six or seven guys who pick themselves, but after that it’s pretty wide open, so it’s a good opportunity for these guys in this environment to show what they have to offer to the Boomers campaign.”

The squad has a strong emphasis on youth, with college stars Anthony Drmic, Hugh Greenwood and Angus Brandt, joining the likes of Italian-based Brock Motum and a host of NBL young stars eager to press their claims.

Lemanis said it comes into camp with an open mind when it comes to assessing who can contribute to the Boomers in a World Cup year.

“Everybody’s a chance,” Lemanis said. “Last year we saw Dante Exum and Ben Simmons come in for the FIBA Oceania Championships and they are turning into pretty good young players.

“The opportunities are there and I’m coming in with my mind open.

“At the end of the day you always pick the best team, the best fit of players – synergy, chemistry, talent – that give you the best opportunity to win.”

Boomers sharp-shooter Ryan Broekhoff has been forced to withdraw from the camp for personal reasons, making way for Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) athlete Jack McVeigh to join the squad in Perth.

Broekhoff, part of the 2012 FIBA Oceania Championship team, enjoyed an impressive debut season for Turkish giants Besiktas, helping the team to a fifth place finish in the Turkish Superleague and a long run in the EuroCup competition.

For McVeigh, the opportunity comes on the back of impressive form for the CoE Men’s team, who are playing in the SEABL this season. The teenager is leading the team, with more than 14 points per game – highlighted by three consecutive 20-plus point games during the team’s Round 7 road trip triple-header.

Australian Boomers Training Camp Squad – Perth

Todd Blanchfield – Townsville Crocodiles (NBL)

Angus Brandt – Oregon State University (USA)

Anthony Drmic – Boise State University (USA)

Cameron Gliddon – Cairns Taipans (NBL)

Hugh Greenwood – University of New Mexico (USA)

Tom Jervis – Perth Wildcats (NBL)

Ben Madgen – Sydney Kings (NBL)

Rhys Martin – Wollongong Hawks (NBL)

Jack McVeigh – BA Centre of Excellence (SEABL)

Brock Motum – Bologna (Italy)

Luke Nevill – Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan)

Clint Steindl – Cairns Taipans (NBL)

Lucas Walker – Melbourne Tigers (NBL)

Mark Worthington – Melbourne Tigers (NBL)