Australia’s national basketball team has been dealt a bit of a blow this morning, with news that Ben Simmons won’t be joining the squad for the Olympics.
The Boomers confirmed the news overnight, reporting that Simmons made the call himself to withdraw from the team, just weeks out from the international event in Tokyo.
The 24-year-old told Coach Brian Goorjian that he requires this upcoming period of time to focus on individual skill development and wishes the team well for the Olympics in Tokyo.
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“I have spoken with Ben and whilst we wanted him to be a part of our team, we understand and support his decision and he has made it clear that this is something that he wants to be a part of in the future,” the Coach said.
“It is a pretty rough time for him right now and I know it is something that he wanted to do, but the timing just hasn’t worked.
“The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him. We wanted him to know that in his time of need, the culture and the guys here are behind him and support him”.
Thirteen of the 16-man Boomers Olympic Squad Members are in Los Angeles at the moment, as part of a drop-in training centre
The remaining players will join them shortly, before the team plays in a series of exhibition matches in Las Vegas.
The final team of 12 will then head for Tokyo.