MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut will be given every chance to prove his fitness for the Rio de Janeiro Games after being named in Australia’s 12-man squad for the Olympic tournament.
Bogut, who suffered a knee injury during Golden State’s NBA Finals loss before being traded to Dallas, is one of five NBA players in a squad hopeful of clinching the country’s first basketball medal at the 12-team tournament.
Matthew Dellavedova, who won an NBA Championship ring with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, and San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills have also been included.
“We are going to Rio to win a medal,” Mills, who won the 2014 NBA title with the Spurs, said in a media release on Monday.
“That is our goal and that is what we set out to do and we all believe in it which is obviously key. We all understand it is going to be a very hard task but the belief in each other that we can get it done is very exciting.
“This is certainly one of the strongest teams I’ve been a part of.”
Australia lost guard Dante Exum to a knee injury but Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis has named the 21-year-old’s Utah Jazz team mate Joe Ingles and Detroit Pistons center Aron Bayne.
Seven-foot center/forward David Andersen will compete in his fourth Olympics at the age of 36, the veteran in a young squad made up of six Olympic debutants.
The Boomers, who lost the bronze medal deciders at Seoul (1988), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000), are drawn with the United States in Group A and play their first preliminary match against France on Aug. 6.
Australia squad: David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Kevin Lisch, Damian Martin, Patty Mills, Brock Motum.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)