DANIEL JOHNSON SET TO MAKE BOOMERS DEBUT IN FIBA WC QUALIFIERS ROUND 2
Having advanced through the first round of qualifiers on top of the ladder with a 5-1 record, the Boomers now cross over against Qatar, Kazakhstan and Iran in the second round.
If they stay inside the top three on the ladder at the conclusion of this round, the Boomers will officially book their spot at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
They begin the second round with a visit to Doha, Qatar before returning home to host Kazakhstan in Bendigo to round out the first window and those games will be Johnson’s first in a Boomers singlet since 2013.
Previously competing in the Sino-Australia Challenge four years ago, that tournament also gave Johnson some exposure to Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.
“It will be good to play under Andrej again,” Johnson said.
“Anytime you can learn some new stuff under a different coach is a good thing for a basketballer.”
Putting his hand up for selection due to his outstanding form in the NBL, Johnson is coming off back-to-back All-NBL First Team honours while also helping the Adelaide 36ers finish first and second on the ladder respectively over the past two seasons.
He will be familiar with several Boomers team mates as fellow 36ers’ Anthony Drmic and Nathan Sobey have also been named while he has crossed paths with others in the past.
“I’ve played with Jason Cadee and Matt Hodgson in previous teams so I’m looking forward to getting back on court with them as well.”
Johnson is now aiming to cement his place within the Boomers side while also helping to maintain Australia’s hot form that has seen them lose just one game since the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Obviously the Boomers have had a lot of success over the past few years so I’m excited to be a part of the group and represent my country.
“I’m definitely looking to have an impact when I’m on the court and just help the team maintain that success.”
While the focus is on Australia’s first game of the next window in Qatar, Johnson is looking forward to a game on home soil when the Boomers take on Kazakhstan in Bendigo, Victoria on September 17.
“Being in the country, they probably don’t get as much of a chance to see this sort of high-level basketball so I’m looking forward to being able to get out in front of them and put on a quality game.”
Time is running out to get your tickets for the FIBA World Cup qualifier in Bendigo while you can also purchase a package to see the Boomers’ fifth window double-header against Iran and Qatar in Melbourne this November and December.
The Australian Boomers Schedule for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers (all times AEST):
Window 4- September 14: Australia vs. Qatar in Doha at 1am.
September 17: Australia vs. Kazakhstan at Bendigo Stadium, Victoria at 7pm.
Window 5- November 30: Australia vs. Iran at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
December 3: Australia vs. Qatar at Margaret Court Arena, Victoria. Time TBA.
Window 6- February 21: Australia vs. Kazakhstan. Time TBA.
February 24: Australia vs. Iran. Time TBA
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