Boomers' training squad for World Cup announced
BASKETBALL Australia has announced the Boomers' practice squad for the World Cup.
Thon Maker has had to withdraw at the request of the Detroit Pistons.
He is the third Australian NBA star ruled out of the World Cup campaign, including the international friendlies against Team USA in Melbourne in August.
The Pistons pulled the rug out from under the Boomers, who originally named Maker in an extended 18-man squad.
Basketball Australia notified media outlets 90 minutes before Thursday's 11am Boomers squad unveiling.
NBA All Star Ben Simmons, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills spearhead the remaining 17-man practice squad, which includes a number of NBL and Euro League-based Australians.
The Pistons traded for Maker last season from the Milwaukee Bucks.
He debuted for the Boomers last June against Japan.
His second and last game in the green and gold was infamously abandoned after a wild brawl erupted against the Philippines.
Maker was suspended for three international matches after attempting to kick a Gilas player.
Luckless Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (knee) is already ruled out with a torn patellar tendon, and Dallas Mavericks sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff has elected to sit out the World Cup bid to support his wife during the final stages of pregnancy.
The Boomers squad is made up of nine NBA stars, six NBL players and two based in Europe.
"It's nice to reconnect with these guys and start to focus on what's ahead, especially with the group that we got," Ingles said.
"We're super excited to have Ben involved and it's something I think as players, coaches, fans, everyone has wanted to see him put his hand up and play and he's done that.
"The next part is us adjusting and fitting him in, but also us fitting in with him."
The Boomers will meet in Melbourne in August when preparations ramp up towards the international friendlies and World Cup campaign.
Ingles welcomed expectations on the Boomers ahead of the bid for gold.
"We feel good... I feel like we've got better and stronger as we've progressed through the last few Olympics and World Championships," Ingles said.
"To have Ben involved now there is going to be some guys that won't be there but the group that we've got we're really excited about.
"We're confident that we can do something really special and that is to bring a gold medal home to Australia and be the first (men's) team to do that."
The Australian Boomers Squad for the 2019 FIBA World Cup:
Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavs)
Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics)
Todd Blanchfield (Illawarra Hawks)
Andrew Bogut (Sydney Kings/Golden State Warriors)
Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers)
Mitch Creek (South East Melbourne Phoenix)
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavs)
Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane Bullets)
Chris Goulding (Melbourne United)
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats)
Jock Landale (Partizan, Serbia)
Mitch McCarron (Melbourne United)
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Brock Motum (Anadolu Efes, Turkey)
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets)
The Australian Boomers warm-up schedule ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup:
August 16: Boomers v Canada - RAC Arena, Perth.
August 17: Boomers v Canada - RAC Arena, Perth.
August 22: Boomers v USA - Marvel Stadium, Melbourne.
August 24: Boomers vs. USA - Marvel Stadium, Melbourne.
The Australian Boomers schedule for the 2019 FIBA World Cup:
September 1: Boomers vs. Canada
September 3: Boomers vs. Senegal
September 5: Boomers vs. Lithuania
September 7 & 9: Round of 16
September 10 & 11: Quarter-Finals
September 13: Semi-Finals
September 15: Medal Games
2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, held between August 31 - September 15.