Australian U17 Men's Team Announced
18 February 2012
AUSTRALIAN UNDER 17 MEN’S BASKETBALL SQUAD NAMED
Basketball Australia has revealed the list of 16 talented young basketballers from which the team for the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championship for Men will be selected.
Headlining the team are the sons of a pair of former National Basketball League stars, Victorians Jack Purchase (son of 250-game Melbourne Tigers forward Nigel Purchase) and Ben Simmons (son of 338-game Melbourne Tigers star Dave Simmons).
The duo join six other Victorians in the squad – Nick Dean, Matt Jackson, Michael Luxford, Geremy McKay, Christian Petracca and Felix von Hofe.
Also selected are South Australians Sam Daly and Sam Johns, Queenslanders Josh Derksen and Cade Towers, Darcy Malone of the ACT, and Nick Duncan, Fabijan Krslovic and Gerard Martin of New South Wales.
All sixteen will join Australian Under 17 Men’s National Head Coach Guy Molloy (formerly head coach of the Cairns Taipans in the NBL) for an intensive four-day training camp from 9 – 12 March at the Australian Institute of Sport.
The group will then head to China in May for a tour, as part of their preparation for the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championship for Men, which will be held in Lithuania from 29 June to 8 July.
Molloy said that although he’s excited by the talent of the group, there’s a lot of work ahead of them in the next few months.
“I think there is still a significant amount of work to get done before the team’s ready to go for an assault on the World Champs, but the raw materials to work with is pretty impressive,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot more length in terms of height and wing-span as physical characteristics, and associated athleticism that goes along with it, that defines this group better than we’ve had previously,” he said.
“In turn, that should let us become a lot better at the defensive end of the floor, and a team that is able to cover a lot more floor space and also we’ve got an ability to open up the floor offensively, so we’ll be hoping to capitalise on those things,” he said.
Australia qualified for the World Championship after sweeping New Zealand in the Under 17 FIBA Oceania Championship in September 2011, and as Molloy explains, there is still more he hopes that this group will grasp about the challenges of international basketball, necessary for them to be successful this year.
“The thing about international competition that these boys have to learn is there is a big difference playing USA one night, Spain the next night, China the next night in that the things that work against one country, may not be the solution or overly successful against the next one,” he said.
“I think that the flexibility that we have in the group to shoot the ball a bit better, have a few post-up targets and a few penetrators, I just think that we have a few more tools than we’ve had in the past and hopefully that overall versatility holds us in good stead,” he said.
Australian Men’s Under 17 National Squad 2012
Sam Daly (SA); Nick Dean (VIC); Josh Derksen (QLD); Nick Duncan Manly Warringah, NSW); Gerard Martin (Manly Warringah, NSW); Matt Jackson (VIC); Sam Johns (SA); Fabijan Krslovic (NSW); Michael Luxford (VIC); Geremy McKay (VIC); Darcy Malone (ACT); Christian Petracca (VIC); Jack Purchase (VIC); Ben Simmons (VIC); Cade Towers (QLD); Felix von Hofe (VIC)
For more information: Davin Sgargetta; Media and Communications Manager, Basketball Australia; Mob +61 405 122 419 • Tel +61 3 9697 4300 • Fax +61 2 9469 7201
Melbourne Office Address: Level 4, 210 Albert Road, South Melbourne VIC 3205; PO BOX 218 South Melbourne VIC 3205
PHOTO: Nick Duncan in action at the 2012 East Coast Challenge at the Hills Basketball Stadium - photo by Noel Rowsell