WA stars lead Boomers team for Sino-Australia Challenge

WA stars lead Boomers team for Sino-Australia Challenge

Home state heroes Mark Worthington and Luke Nevill headline the 12-strong Australian Boomers team named to take on Team China in the 2014 Sino-Australia Challenge, tipping off on Thursday night at Challenge Stadium.

The Western Australian influence in the team spreads to Bunbury-native Cameron Gliddon and Perth Wildcats big man and Kalgoorlie-born Tom Jervis.

The feel-good story of the team announcement, Jervis (the 2014 NBL Rookie of the Year) has made the most of his late call-up to the Boomers Perth training camp, impressing Head Coach Andrej Lemanis enough to find a spot in the final 12.

Lemanis said with the opening game of the Sino-Australia Challenge a day away, the excitement around the group has fuelled their energy levels through the tough training block.

“The sense of pride in playing for Australia is obvious within the group – the players have represented themselves with class – we really couldn’t ask any more from them,” Lemanis said.

“One of the great perks of being the Boomers Head Coach is telling players that they have made the national team. For all of the debutants in this squad, the sense of pride and pleasure was clearly visible.

“There is a special pride in playing for your country – not every sport affords its athletes the opportunity to do that – it ranks you among the few in all sports, not just basketball.

“I’m proud to be going into the Sino-Australia Challenge with this group of players – they have all earned the right to be on the team.

“We now look forward to competing against China in the four game series. We have had enough of beating up on each other and look forward to transferring that energy and intensity in to game night.”

A strong NBL influence has made its mark on the squad, with Sydney Kings star Ben Madgen, joined by Wollongong Hawks guard Rhys Martin, Cairns Taipans sharp-shooter Clint Steindl and Melbourne United high-flyer Lucas Walker.

Athletic forward Brock Motum earns a place in the team alongside US college duo Hugh Greenwood and Angus Brandt, while Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence scholarship holder Jack McVeigh capitalised on his late invitation to camp, with the soon-to-be 18-year-old included for the four-game series.

This is the second year of the Sino-Australia Challenge following a four-year agreement reached between Basketball Australia and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) with funding support from the Western Australian Government.

Tickets for the Sino-Australia Challenge are now available through Ticketmaster.

2014 Sino-Australia Challenge – Australian Boomers v Team China

Game One
Thursday 29 May @ Challenge Stadium 8:30pm (local time)
TV: ABC2 at 10:30pm Nationally (LIVE into VIC, NSW, QLD, ACT &TAS)
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au, call 136 100 and Ticketmaster outlets

Game Two
Saturday 31 May @ Challenge Stadium 6:30pm
TV: ABC2 at 8:30pm Nationally (LIVE into VIC, NSW, QLD, ACT &TAS)
Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au, call 136 100 and Ticketmaster outlets

Game Three
Friday 6 June @ Jiangsu Zhenjiang Sports and Exhibition Centre 7:30pm (9:30pm AEST)
TV: ABC2 at 10:30pm Nationally

Game Four
Sunday 8 June @ Liyang Tianmuhu Arena 7:30pm (9:30pm AEST)
TV: ABC2 at 10:30pm Nationally

Australian Boomers Team – Sino-Australia Challenge

Angus Brandt – Oregon 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 United (NBL)

Mark Worthington – Melbourne United (NBL)