Three Former Zags Picked To Australian Senior Squad
March 29, 2001
BONDI JUNCTION NSW, Australia - Basketball Australia today announced the Boomers' "train on" squad for 2001. The squad features 38 players, including seven members of the 2000 Olympic Games team and three former Gonzaga University players.
Chris Anstey, Martin Cattalini, Ricky Grace, Sam Mackinnon, Brett Maher, former Bulldog Paul Rogers (1996) and Jason Smith are the returning members of the Boomers team that reached the semi finals of the Sydney Olympics. The other former Bulldogs selected to the squad were John Rillie (1995) and Axel Dench (2000).
Seventeen squad members have yet to represent Australia at senior level, including six players who are also members of the Australian young men's (Under-22) squad. David Andersen, Justin Brown, Andrew Latimer, Neil Mottram, Andrew Rice and Luke Schenscher face the exciting prospect of defending Australia's gold medal at the World Championship for Young Men in the same year as they earned their maiden call up for senior international duty.
Darryl McDonald, at age 36, is the oldest "rookie" in the squad, while 19-year old Schenscher is the youngest of the 36 players named.
"This squad represents the players that we feel will be able to help the Boomers reach our goals in the upcoming four years," head coach Phil Smyth said today. "The squad has a good mix of players with extensive experience, as well as players that we expect to continue to develop in the next three years. I am excited about working with such a great group of players."
Rogers' Perth Wildcats and Dench's Wollongong Hawks are currently tied for third place in the National Basketball League heading into the final weekend of NBL play. Both teams are 20-7, a game behind Victoria and Townsville. Rogers is averaging 16.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg while shooting 59.8 percent from the field. Dench is averaging 13.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg.
Rillie's West Sydney Razorbacks will finish eighth in the NBL and miss the six-team playoffs. West Sydney is 9-19. Rillie is averaging 19 ppg while shooting 46 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range.
The squad was chosen by Basketball Australia's selection panel that comprised Adrian Hurley (Chairman), John Maddock and Smyth. The purpose of the "train on" squad is to ensure players continue their fitness and training once club commitments in 2001 are completed. The Boomers' team to compete at the East Asian Games, the Goodwill Games and any other internationals in 2001 will be selected from the "train on" squad. Players can be added or dropped from the squad at discretion of the selection panel.
The Boomers' 2001 "train on" squad comprises:
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