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NBL All Australian side to tour China

An NBL All Australian Team announced today will travel to China in early May for a three-game series against the Chinese National Team. The 11-man side to be led by Australian Boomers and Brisbane Bullets Head Coach Andrej Lemanis, fields players from across the League including six players who feature in the extended Boomers squad named in March; new Brisbane recruits Daniel Kickert and Adam Gibson, along with Todd Blanchfield (Melbourne United), Mitch Norton (Townsville Crocs), Clint Steindl (Townsville Crocs) and Lucas Walker (Adelaide 36ers). The NBL All Australian team will play the Chinese National Team in three games beginning in the city of Nanning on the 6th of May, Guangzhou on the 8th of May and finishing in Beijing on the 10th of May. The games will be televised on China TV Station CCTV5 in a major coup for Australian Basketball with the station having an audience reach of approximately 1.2 billion people. Negotiations for coverage on Australian TV are currently underway and will be announced prior to the series. NBL General Manager, Jeremy Loeliger said the week long series was an integral part of the NBL’s focus on strategic growth and expansion in partnership with FIBA, Basketball Australia and the China Basketball Association. “Basketball is one of the most popular sports in China, a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion people, so the reach and expansion potential for the NBL is immense. We have made no secret of our desire to see the League expand and strengthen further. In the long term we see Asia having a greater involvement in our Australian NBL season as well as in friendly tournaments.” Head coach Andrej Lemanis said he was excited to be involved in the tour.  “Any chance you have to be involved in international competition is a fantastic opportunity for growth for both players and coaches. I know this group will represent the NBL and Australian basketball on the international stage very well.” “You can’t under-estimate the challenge of playing China in China especially in an Olympic year. Early indications are they will be in the selection phase of preparation for their Olympic campaign so the team might differ a little from what is finally selected for Rio however it will still be very strong.” Selecting the All Australian Team was no easy task for the current Boomers and Brisbane Bullets Head Coach. “We have a limited preparation window to establish good team synergies with just a four-day camp prior to flying out. That meant that we needed players who not only were skilled basketball players and quality people, but who also have a familiarity with each other so we are not starting from scratch. The players selected will bring a synergy due to their knowledge of playing either together or against each other in the NBL over the years. Any time an Australian player puts on a singlet and competes in international competition they play with a passion and pride that is unique to international basketball. I know they will showcase the League extremely well.” The NBL All Australian Team will hold a training camp in Melbourne prior to travelling to China. Further details of this camp and media times will be issued prior to 1st May.   NBL ALL AUSTRALIAN TEAM Daniel Kickert – Brisbane Bullets Lucas Walker – Free Agent Jason Cadee – Sydney Kings Jesse Wagstaff – Perth Wildcats Mitch Norton – Free Agent Majok Majok – Melbourne United Todd Blanchfield – Melbourne United David Barlow – Free Agent Clint Steindl – Free Agent Tommy Garlepp – Sydney Kings Adam Gibson – Brisbane Bullets   Head Coach – Andrej Lemanis – Australian Boomers, Brisbane Bullets Assistant Coach – Mick Downer – Australian Boomers, Brisbane Bullets Physio – Nick Harrison – Melbourne United
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