Bogut primed for Boomers return

Bogut primed for Boomers return

Andrew Bogut has returned home to Australia an NBA Championship winner but there is little time to revel in his new status.

“National team starts in two weeks,” he told assembled media at his eponymous academy on Melbourne’s outskirts on Friday morning. “I’ll start working out in a week.”

The 30-year-old was quizzed on Golden State’s record-breaking season, their hard-earned celebrations and the current crop of Australian basketballers making waves in the game’s big show.

“When I first came into the NBA I was the sole representative from Australia and the NBA. It was pretty lonely at times and now we’ve got seven, eight, nine every year and more coming,” Bogut explained of the shift that has occurred in recent seasons. “Hopefully one day we’ll have a full Boomers squad of NBA talent which would be absolutely sensational. It can only help the game here locally and help the game worldwide.”

Bogut’s 2014-15 NBA season saw the former number one draft pick rack up 86 games for the Warriors. He’s emerged injury-free, something he admits is contributing to his excitement for putting on an Australian Boomers singlet. He’ll meet up with his compatriots in Europe next month with games scheduled against Slovenia and Lithuania in the lead-up to the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships. The Boomers will play the New Zealand Tall Blacks in front of a packed house at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on August 15 before the return leg in Wellington. The winner, on a two-game aggregate, will then earn automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games. Bogut revealed on Friday that personally, there is a lot at stake.

“It’s very important that we win those two games,” he said. “Brazil could possibly be my last Olympics so hopefully we can get there.”

The Boomers are on the verge of their best chance yet to collect an Olympic medal, thanks mostly to the recent surge in NBA exports. Bogut is optimistic.

“We’ve got our best opportunities coming up,” he admits. “I’ve knocked off the Championship Ring which is almost number one on the check list with the Olympic gold medal so if you can knock those two off it would be a beautiful career.”