EXCLUSIVE | Ryan Broekhoff backs Boomers to win World Cup
Dallas Mavericks NBA star Ryan Broekhoff says the Australian Boomers have what it takes to win the FIBA World Cup in China later this year.
Coming off his first season in the NBA, Broekhoff averaged 10.8 minutes off the bench, four points and 1.5 rebounds per game across 42 games as the Mavericks finished in 14th in the Western Conference.
His best performance of the season came in the Mavs 126-91 thrashing of Golden State towards the close of the regular season – with Broekhoff scoring 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.
After being undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Broekhoff signed a two-year deal with Dallas for this year with the second year a team option.
Broekhoff told Halftime it’s been amazing to have the opportunity to play in the NBA.
“It’s definitely been a surreal experience,” Broekhoff said.
“Especially at the start of the season walking into the practice facility and you see big Dirk Nowitzki putting up jumpers and you’re like this is real, this is really cool.
“As the season progresses you get into the day to day playing and practicing and it becomes more about basketball, not so much who you’re playing or anything like that.
“The Golden State game was something fun.
“We’ve had a very up and down season, but to put in a performance as a team like we did against the two-time defending champs and for me personally to have a good game was sweet for us to see potentially where we could get to.”
Broekhoff is also set to play an important role for the Boomers when the FIBA World Cup comes around in August.
It’s an exciting time for Australian basketball and the Boomers with 13 Aussies managing game time in the 2018/19 NBA season.
The 28-year-old says the Boomers’ bond and grit in their playing style means they have what it takes to win the tournament.
“I think with the talent we have and the bond and closeness of the team, a gold medal will be the goal of the group going in,” Broekhoff said.
“I think we have the talent to compete with anyone, sometimes you need a little bit of luck and stuff to go your way.
“Obviously we have a tough pool with Lithuania and Canada.
“We’re as good as any team in the world and hopefully we can break through for that elusive medal.”
The FIBA World Cup gets underway on August 31 with Australia placed in Group H with Lithuania, Canada and Senegal.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.