Boomers to cap 10 players in WC qualifiers

Illawarra small forward Tim Coenraad (l) has been called up for the Boomers' World Cup qualifiers.
Illawarra small forward Tim Coenraad (l) has been called up for the Boomers' World Cup qualifiers.

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.

With Australia already qualified for the World Cup in China and top of their Asian group, coach Andrej Lemanis was able to leave the four NBL semi-finals teams undisturbed.

Mitch Creek, now in the NBA G League, is easily the biggest name in a raw 12-man squad selected from NBL also-ran teams and available overseas-based talent.

Cairns Taipans forward Lucas Walker is the only other capped player for the away matches against Kazakhstan on February 22 and Iran on February 25.

"The NBL and clubs have been amazing in their support of the national team," Lemanis 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."

Lemanis had to go even further down his list on Sunday, calling in Adelaide 36ers youngsters Harry Froling and Jack McVeigh after illustrious clubmates Nathan Sobey and Daniel Johnson were withdrawn as they pursue overseas contract opportunities.

From the Illawarra Hawks, small forward Tim Coenraad, swingman Daniel Grida and point guard Emmett Naar are set to earn international caps along with New Zealand Breakers guard Jarrad Weeks and young Sydney Kings reserve guard Tom Wilson.

Joining them as debutants are Isaac Humphries of the NBA G League team Erie Bayhawks, Jock Landale from Serbia's Partizan and Mangok Mathiang from Italy's Guerino Vanoli Basket.

"To give these guys exposure at an international level is exciting for them and it's exciting for us as a coaching staff," 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."

Australian Associated Press