Australia's vast NBA cohort headlines an extended Boomers squad for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, with new head coach Brian Goorjian also placing an emphasis on the country's up-and-coming talent.
Ben Simmons, the NBA All-Star who's yet to play for the Boomers in a major international tournament, was among the nine NBA players announced by Basketball Australia on Wednesday as part of the 24-man squad.
He's joined by Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Aron Baynes (Toronto Raptors), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers), and Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), who have been the core of the Boomers over the last two major tournaments. Danté Exum (Houston Rockets), Josh Green (Dallas Mavericks), Ryan Broekhoff (free agent), Thon Maker (free agent), Will Magnay (New Orleans Pelicans), and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers) round out the current or recent NBA talent on the squad.
Green, a rookie out of Sydney, will be looking to make his debut with the Boomers, while this is the first time Thybulle -- a dual citizen of Australia and the US -- has officially been named to any Australian national squad.
"We are both excited to again be named in the Australian Boomers squad and we are determined to lead this group of both veteran experience and exciting younger talent to an elusive Olympic medal," Mills and Ingles said in a joint statement.
Simmons added: "It would be an amazing honour to play for my country. I know things are uncertain right now but I've been in touch with Coach Goorjian and we're hopeful I can join the Boomers."
With a lot of the squad currently playing in the NBA, along with the travel limitations forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the expectation is the Boomers' preparation for the Olympics will primarily be based in the United States, sources told ESPN.
One idea currently in advanced discussions is for the Boomers, Team USA and the Spanish national team to convene in Las Vegas to train in a pre-Olympics bubble, sources said.
After 2016's extended Olympic squad featured a host of veteran players selected to complement the Boomers' core pieces, Goorjian seemingly went in the opposite direction in 2021 by naming Josh Giddey to his group. The 18-year-old point guard has put together an impressive start to the NBL season, with his NBA Draft stock continuing to rise.
Giddey is among a host of NBL talent included, with Mitch Creek, Xavier Cooks, Deng Adel, Chris Goulding, Isaac Humphries, Jock Landale, Mitch McCarron, and Mitch Norton among the players competing locally who were named to the extended squad.
Nick Kay, William McDowell-White, Brock Motum, and Duop Reath are the Australians playing abroad who were selected to the squad.
Motum was a member of the Boomers at the 2016 Olympics, while Kay came off the bench for the team at the 2019 World Cup.
"It is a well-balanced squad selected by position with a nice blend of experience, coupled with a lot of new and exciting players coming through," Goorjian said.
"These are our top 24 available players and included is significant representation from the NBL, showing the strength of our local league where the standard of competition is recognised worldwide.
"I have spoken to each player over the past fortnight and have been extremely impressed, to a man, by their overwhelming desire to play for Australia in Tokyo."
Basketball Australia also announced Goorjian's coaching staff for the Tokyo Olympics, with former Boomer Matt Nielsen (Austin Spurs) joining as head assistant coach, while David Patrick (University of Arkansas) and Adam Caporn (Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence) will retain their respective positions as assistant coaches for the team.
Goorjian's assistant with the NBL's Hawks, Jacob Jackomas, will join the Boomers as international scouting coordinator.
The Boomers are coming off a fourth-place finish at China's 2019 FIBA World Cup, which came after earning the same result at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The current Boomers core has consistently had the program among the highest-ranked in the world, but are yet to win a medal to show for it.
On Tuesday evening, the Boomers were drawn into Group B for the Tokyo Olympics, setting up a clash with Nigeria, as well as two currently unknown opponents. That pair of yet-to-be decided countries will be decided during June's Olympic qualifying tournaments.
As of today, the men's preliminary rounds at the Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 25. This Boomers squad will eventually be cut to 12 as the Olympics draws nearer.
Australia's 24-man Tokyo Olympics squad: Deng Adel, Aron Baynes, Ryan Broekhoff, Xavier Cooks, Mitch Creek, Matthew Dellavedova, Danté Euxm, Josh Giddey, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Isaac Humphries, Joe Ingles, Nick Kay, Jock Landale, Mitch McCarron, William McDowell-White, Will Magnay, Thon Maker, Patty Mills, Brock Motum, Mitch Norton, Duop Reath, Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle.