Boomers to cap 10 players in WC qualifiers
Illawarra, Cairns and New Zealand may have missed out on of the NBL playoffs, but the season hasn't been fruitless for some of their stars who have been recruited for Australia's world title campaign.
Ten players are poised to debut for a Boomers squad containing only two capped players in the men's basketball World Cup qualifiers against Kzakhstan and Iran in the next eight days.
Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says as the window is before the NBL playoffs, it is a chance to blood new players with the national side.
"The NBL and clubs have been amazing in their support of the national team," he said.
"We were conscious to work with the clubs, ensuring the welfare of all players and minimising the disruption for those players in the NBL finals. As a result, it opens up a wonderful opportunity for some new talent to shine."
Despite the Illawarra Hawks' humbling by the New Zealand Breakers on Thursday night, small forward Tim Coenraad and Daniel Grida and point guard Emmett Naar will all earn their senior caps next week.
Former Snakes point guard Jarrad Weeks and Cairns Taipans vice-captain Lucas Walker, Jack McVeigh and Harry Froling will also run on with the Boomers.
Walker has been recalled to the squad after featuring in the Commonwealth Games last year.
Star Taipans big man Nate Jawai was not selected for the squad, after starring for the green and gold in their last FIBA window.
Jawai has battled a sore knee of late and played limited minutes in the clubs loss to Sydney on Saturday.
Sydney Kings point guard Tom Wilson has also been made available to start for the Boomers along with a number of internationally-based players.
NBA G-League star Isaac Humphries of the Erie Bayhawks, Jock Landale from Serbia's Partizan and Mangok Mathiang from Italy's Guerino Vanoli Basket will all debut for Australia next weekend.
"To give these guys exposure at an international level is exciting for them and it's exciting for us as a coaching staff," coach Lemanis said.
"We identified at the beginning of the qualifying process that our depth of talent would be tested like never before and it is important for the future of our sport that we continue to develop and grow as broad a base as possible.
"We want the cupboard to remained stocked, so to speak."