Patty Mills

Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova
Getty Images

Australia Olympic men’s basketball roster has 6 NBA players

Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andrew Bogut has been included in Australia’s Olympic squad, along with five more NBA players, despite concerns over his fitness.

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis announced his 12-man roster on Monday, saying he’d give Bogut until the eve of the games in Rio de Janeiro next month to recover from the bone bruising around his left knee sustained during Golden State’s seven-game loss to Cleveland in the NBA finals.

The 31-year-old Bogut, who has been traded to Dallas, has been working with the Boomers squad in Melbourne and has until Aug. 5 to show he is fit enough to play in his third Olympic basketball tournament.

Matthew Dellavedova, who helped Cleveland to an historic comeback win for the NBA championship last month and has since moved to the Milwaukee Bucks, and 2014 NBA champion Patty Mills are also in the Australian squad.

As are Joe InglesAron Baynes and Cameron Bairstow, who all played in the NBA last season.

“We are going to Rio to win a medal,” Mills said. “We all understand it is going to be a very hard task but the belief in each other that we can get it done is very exciting. This is certainly one of the strongest teams I’ve been a part of.”

Dellavedova said he had been nervous about Olympic selections, despite his big year in the NBA.

“Nothing’s assumed. Every spot in the Australian team is earned, nothing is given,” Lemanis said. “But the meeting with (Dellavedova) is pretty easy: ‘Delly, you’ve made the team. Congratulations.’ And then we speak about what he can contribute from here.”

The Australians will play warmup matches against the Pac-12 College All-Stars in Melbourne on Tuesday and Thursday and will have further warmup matches in America before arriving in Brazil. The Australians play France on Aug. 6 and Serbia on Aug. 8 before facing the U.S. on Aug. 10 and China on Aug. 12.

Australia squad: David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Kevin Lisch, Damian Martin, Patrick Mills, Brock Motum.

MORE: Patty Mills’ connection to Cathy Freeman

Ben Simmons, NBA players on Australia Olympic basketball hopeful list

Ben Simmons
Getty Images
Leave a comment

LSU freshman Ben Simmons, a favorite to be the No. 1 NBA draft pick on June 23, is one of 26 players named as candidates for Australia’s Olympic basketball team on Monday.

Simmons, 19, is a Melbourne native who was among the final five cuts for Australia’s 2014 FIBA World Cup team.

Olympian NBA players Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills were unavailable for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, adding two more players to the Rio mix and complicating Simmons’ quest to make the Rio Olympic team.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova joined Simmons, Bogut and Mills as the most recognizable names on the 26-player list Monday.

Basketball Australia will cut down from 26 players to 16 ahead of a July 5-10 selection camp. The Olympic Opening Ceremony is Aug. 5.

Simmons may be young, but Australia has a history of naming college basketball players to its Olympic team — Bogut in 2004, Mills in 2008 and Dellavedova in 2012.

Australia’s men’s basketball team has never earned an Olympic medal, falling in the quarterfinals in 2008 and 2012.

MORE: U.S. adds one more guard to Olympic finalist list

Australia men’s basketball team qualifies for Rio Olympics

Leave a comment

Australia joined the U.S. and Brazil in the Rio 2016 Olympic men’s basketball tournament by sweeping New Zealand in a home-and-home series.

The Aussies will play in their 12th straight Olympic basketball tournament in 2016, an active record among all nations. They’ve never earned an Olympic medal, finishing fourth in Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. The Australian women earned silver or bronze medals at the last five Olympics and qualified for Rio on Monday.

The Australian team in Rio could be led by NBA center Andrew Bogut and guards Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills. All three played in the New Zealand series.

A total of 12 teams will be in the Rio 2016 tournament. The next six teams will qualify over the next two months — the African champion, Asian champion and the finalists from the Americas and European qualifying tournaments.

The final three teams will qualify from global last-chance qualifiers next summer.

Matthew Dellavedova and the Olympics