BOOMERS AND OPALS AROUND THE WORLD

BOOMERS AND OPALS AROUND THE WORLD

With the NBA and WNBL seasons now underway, we take a look at where all our Australian Boomers and Opals are playing around the world.

David Andersen: Playing his third season in the LNB Pro A, the top-tier competition in France, Andersen is also playing his second season with ASVEL. Through five games, the forward is averaging 8.4 points and seven boards to be one of the leading rebounders for the club.

Cameron Bairstow: Despite not playing too many minutes last season, Bairstow has returned for a second season with the Chicago Bulls. Receiving court time in 18 games in 2014-15, he will be looking to improve on that mark while becoming a permanent role player in a side that should contend in the East Conference again.

Aron Baynes: Making the move from San Antonio to Detroit for this year, Baynes will join Andre Drummond in a dominant front court line-up. The likes of Brandon Jennings and Reggie Jackson should also enjoy Baynes’ ability to set screens and give his guards some open shots.

Ryan Broekhoff: After spending pre-season training with a couple of NBA teams, Broekhoff signed with PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban, a Russian team that participates in the Euroleague. Through two games, he has hit 44% of his three-pointers while collecting 8.5 points a game.

Andrew Bogut: Fresh off an NBA Championship, Bogut has reportedly dropped 10 kilograms and looks spry on court. He collected 12 points, five rebounds and five assists in his first game of the 2015/16 season, hitting a perfect 6-6 from the field.

Matthew Dellavedova: A persistent injury to Kyrie Irving should see Dellavedova receive similar minutes at the start of this NBA season to his 2015 Finals performance that saw him gain worldwide recognition. A more aggressive approach in offence in the Oceania Championships should also benefit Delly in the upcoming season.

Dante Exum: An ACL injury prior to the Oceania Championship was a devastating blow for the 20-year old and it will see Exum miss his sophomore year in the NBA. His youth will be his greatest asset though and should see the guard return for both the Utah Jazz and Boomers in the near future.

Adam Gibson: Playing his eleventh NBL season and fourth with the Adelaide 36ers, Gibson is again proving to be one of the premier point guards at age 28 with a league-leading seven assists per game to go with 12.6 points and six rebounds through five matches.

Chris Goulding: After spending one season overseas with CAI Zaragoza in Spain, Goulding has returned to home soil with Melbourne United for the 2015/16 NBL season. Currently sitting fifth for points per game with 17.4, the sharpshooter is hitting 58% from two-point range and adding four assist a contest, helping United to a 5-0 record.

Cameron Gliddon: After suiting up at late notice for the Oceania Championship, Gliddon is continuing to ply his trade in the NBL with the Cairns Taipans. Through five matches, he has recorded 14 points per game at an incredible 63% shooting from two-point range.

Joe Ingles: Signing a three-year deal in July with the Utah Jazz has given Ingles some security as he looks to lock in a permanent place on the roster this season after playing 79 games with an average of five points in 2014-15.

Nathan Jawai: Jawai was named in the Perth Wildcats roster for the current NBL season, marking the first time he has played on home soil since 2010. Playing 18 minutes a game, the centre is averaging eight points and five rebounds.

Aleks Maric: Playing for his ninth European team, Maric joined Budućnost VOLI Podgorica in Montenegro earlier this year. The 211cm beast is competing in the Adriatic League at the moment and recently earned Player of the Week honours thanks to a performance in which he collected 20 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocks.

Damian Martin: The greatest defender in NBL history will again suit up for the Perth Wildcats this season, overcoming a calf injury that he sustained in training for the Oceania Championship when he hits the court for the first time this round.

Patty Mills: A shoulder injury interrupted Mills throughout last season but with enough time to rest and rehab in the off-season, the point guard should be ready to go in a likely increased role off the bench for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA.

Brock Motum: Motum had a fairy-tale start to his season in the Euroleague with Žalgiris Kaunas as he scored a tip-in go ahead basket to give his side a victory in the opening match of the season. Since then, he has collected 10.7 points (second for the club) at 63% shooting in six games.

Brad Newley: Now a permanent member of Gran Canaria, Newley begun his fourth year with the Spanish club just a few weeks ago and is averaging 10 points in an unbeaten start to the season.

Ben Simmons: Simmons toured his home country with college side Lousiana State University earlier in the year, giving fans a close look at the man many are touting to be the first pick in the 2016 NBA draft. A solid year at LSU will only help his cause.

Rebecca Allen: One of several Australian players to suffer a knee injury in the 2015 WNBA season, Allen’s debut year was cut short after just three games for the Los Angeles Sparks. With 10 points and three assists in her first game, the forward showed she is capable at the highest level and is sure to get another shot at the big time as she is just 22 years old.

Suzy Batkovic: Clocking in for her 14th WNBL season, Batkovic is searching for back-to-back Championships with the Townsville Fire and has started well with a Player of the Week award in Round 2 while averaging 18 points and six rebounds.

Abby Bishop: Despite playing for the struggling and winless UC Capitals in the WNBL, Bishop has been relentless in her attack under the rim with 11 points a game at 40% shooting. Reinforcements will soon arrive but in the meantime, Bishop must try and keep the Capitals in touch with the top four.

Sara Blicavs: Blicavs has made the journey back to the Dandenong Rangers in the WNBL, where she played in 2012/13, after two seasons with the Bendigo Spirit. A double-double in Round 3 (19 points, 14 rebounds, six assists) was a superb showing from a player brimming with confidence after an inclusion in the Opals team.

Natalie Burton: Playing for the newly re-branded Perth Lynx in the WNBL, Burton has made the move across the country from Melbourne. Her consistent season so far has yielded six points and six boards a game as she looks to assert her dominance as one of the competition’s best centres.

Elizabeth Cambage: The 203cm centre will soon begin her second year in China after playing with Zheijang Chouzhou in 2012. This year will see her feature with Shanghai Dahua in the upcoming season.

Katie-Rae Ebzery: After an impressive 200+ game career in the WNBL, Ebzery joined the Opals for a warm-up tour in Europe and against Japan before facing New Zealand in the Oceania Championship. As starting point guard for Sydney Uni, she will face off against fellow Opals guards Kelly Wilson and Tessa Lavey throughout the year in a series of intriguing battles.

Maddie Garrick: Alongside Blicavs and Ebzery, Garrick was the third in a trio of arrivals into the Opals side this year. Joining the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL, she will be hoping to help them bounce back from missing the playoffs last season after reaching the Grand Final ever year from 2009-2012.

Cayla George: Returning from a successful debut season with the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA, George will be looking to maintain her double-double average from her past two WNBL seasons as she represents Townsville Fire once again. An 18-point, 17-rebound effort against Adelaide in Round 3 showed how dominant the forward can be.

Laura Hodges: Returning to Bourges Basket in France, Hodges will be looking to win back-to-back Championships after reaching the ultimate prize alongside Marianna Tolo last season.

Lauren Jackson: Persistent knee problems are keeping Jackson from making a return to the WNBL with the UC Capitals but the timeframe for her arrival now seems to be sometime in November. The team could certainly use her prowess in the front court as well as another experienced head on the court to guide them.

Rachel Jarry: Putting almost two years worth of knee injuries behind her, Jarry made a successful comeback in the Oceania Championships while a 40-minute effort against Dandenong as co-captain of the SEQ Stars, the newest team in the WNBL, was a sure sign that she is fighting fit.

Alice Kunek: Kunek will surpass the 150 WNBL game milestone this season in her first year with the Melbourne Boomers after transferring from the Dandenong Rangers. Injuries to a couple of a team mates have not helped the team chemistry of the side as Melbourne currently sit seventh with a 1-2 record.

Tessa Lavey: A move to the newly re-branded Lynx alongside Burton has seen Lavey’s minutes dramatically increas after six relatively quiet WNBL seasons with the AIS, Canberra and Bendigo. The guard is struggling to find her stroke at 30% shooting but is still averaging ten points and three assists.

Tess Madgen: Falling just short of a triple-double in Round 1, Madgen burst onto the 2015/16 WNBL season with 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a stunning victory for the Melbourne Boomers. She leads the club in assists and sits second for points per game (21.7) with 49% shooting.

Leilani Mitchell: The sharpshooter helped Phoenix Mercury into the WNBA playoffs earlier this year but that success has not followed her back home as she currently heads the winless Adelaide Lightning in the back court. She is averaging 14 points, five boards and four assists but desperately needs help from a couple of fellow guards.

Elyse Penaluna: Sustaining the Melbourne Boomers alongside Madgen for the time being, Penaluna is averaging a team-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds. She has also held down the defensive end with a block per game after coming across from Bendigo last season.

Erin Phillips: An injury plagued WNBA season ended prematurely for Phillips in August with a knee issue dashing her hopes of a finals stint. She is currently in rehab at the Centre of Excellence and is hoping to hit the court for the SEQ Stars alongside Jarry soon.

Belinda Snell: A veteran of 12 WNBL seasons, Snell is suiting up for Bendigo for the second consecutive year after spending most of her career with Sydney Uni. She sits second for the club in assists with just under three a game while still scoring a respectable 9.5 points a game.

Penny Taylor: Continuing her trend of playing all around the world, Taylor will hit the floor for Shanxi Xingrui in China for the upcoming season after previously competing in Australia, the USA, Italy, Russia and Istanbul.

Mariana Tolo: The third Australian player in the WNBA to suffer a knee injury for the year, Tolo’s campaign came to an end after 28 games as she missed the Sparks’ playoff run. The centre was integral to Los Angeles’ regular season, reaching double-figures five times but is now in rehab at the Centre of Excellence alongside Phillips.

Kelly Wilson: Playing alongside Snell at the Bendigo Spirit for the current WNBL season, Wilson will surpass 300 games in her 14th year. She is currently averaging 10+ points for the fifth time in her career while sitting second overall for assists in the competition.