Rillie, Rogers On Australian Olympic Team

July 28, 2004

SPOKANE, Wash. - A pair of former Gonzaga University men's basketball players will begin their trek to Athens, Greece, on Thursday in search of an Olympic gold medal for Australia.

John Rillie and Paul Rogers are among the 12-man Boomers squad that will depart Australia on Thursday.

The Boomers will journey first to Belgrade in Serbia and Montenegro where they will take part in the prestigious FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament before heading to Reggio Calabria in Italy for a three-game tournament against Angola, Brazil and the host nation.

The Australian men's basketball team then travels to Greece and will enter the Olympic Village on Aug. 11.

They play their first game of the Olympic tournament against host nation Greece on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Game reports for all the matches listed below will be available on Basketball Australia's website at

Rillie is best remembered for his 96 points in three West Coast Conference Tournament games in 1995 that propelled the Bulldogs to their inaugural WCC Tournament crown and with it their first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga lost to the University of Maryland in the first round in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rillie scored 1,038 points from 1993-95, connecting for 230 3-pointers in 524 attempts, both figures placing him in the top five on Gonzaga's career charts. He has spent most of his professional career playing in the National Basketball League in Australia and also played in Greece. This past season he played with the Townsville Crocodiles in the NBL. He was the 1995 NBL Rookie of the Year and won the 1998 NBL title with Adelaide.

Rogers played for the Bulldogs from 1995-97, foregoing his final season to enter the National Basketball Association draft where he was the final player selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers. He never signed with the Lakers and the Toronto Raptors obtained his rights, but he never played a regular-season game with the Raptors.

Rogers was also a member of the Bulldogs 1995 NCAA Tournament team and the 1996 National Invitation Tournament squad that fell at Washington State University in the opening round.

This will be the second Olympics for Rogers, who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and helped the Boomers to fourth place as the host nation. He was the 2000 NBL MVP in leading Perth to the title, and was also a first-team NBL selection in 2002. He is currently playing for Girona, Spain.

Rillie and Rogers bring to three the number of Bulldogs scheduled to compete in Athens. Women's soccer player Walker Loseno, a senior for the Bulldogs this season, will play for host Greece. The Greece women will meet the USA in their first match on Aug. 11.

Boomers pre-Olympic schedule

August 1 vs China - FIBA Diamond Ball (Belgrade)

August 2 vs Serbia & Montenegro - FIBA Diamond Ball (Belgrade)

August 3 vs TBC - FIBA Diamond Ball (Belgrade)

August 6 vs Angola (Reggio Calabria - Italy)

August 7 vs Brazil (Reggio Calabria - Italy)

August 8 vs Italy (Reggio Calabria - Italy)

August 11 - Arrive Athens Olympic Village

Australian Men's Basketball Team

David Andersen (Montepaschi Siena, Italy), Andrew Bogut (University of Utah, US), CJ Bruton (Sydney Kings), Martin Cattalini (formerly Adelaide 36ers), Shane Heal (C) (Makedonikos, Greece), Brett Maher (Adelaide 36ers), Matthew Nielsen (Sydney Kings), John Rillie (Townsville Crocodiles), Paul Rogers (Girona, Spain), Tony Ronaldson (Perth Wildcats), Glen Saville (Wollongong Hawks), Jason Smith (Sydney Kings)



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