May 30, 2023

Ben Simmons on Australia NT: “I look forward to being a part of the program in the future”

Photo: Brooklyn Nets/Twitter

Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons may finally fulfill his desire to play for the Australian national basketball team, the Boomers, at this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup, according to recent reports. Simmons made his senior debut for Australia back in 2013, but has repeatedly withdrawn from the national team before competition.

However, in a recent statement to David Aldridge of The Athletic, Simmons expressed his willingness to play for the Boomers in the future. “I’m currently rehabilitating my back injury and putting my full effort and focus towards that,” said Simmons. “I love what coach Goorjian is building with the Boomers and I look forward to being a part of the program in the future.”

Simmons had a challenging 2022-23 NBA season, dealing with knee soreness and inflammation in his back, which led him to be sidelined for several games. Despite this, his inclusion in Australia’s preliminary team selection pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup has raised hopes that he will finally make his debut for the Boomers.

Australia’s head coach Ben Goorjian recently commented on Simmons’ potential participation in the tournament, stating that “there is a really strong chance that he plays.” Simmons has previously stated his desire to play for the Boomers, including in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but had to withdraw due to his NBA commitments.

If Simmons does play, he could be a key player for the Boomers in their Group E matches against Germany, Finland and Japan. Simmons previously won a gold medal with the Boomers in the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship, and was added to the Boomers extended squad for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but did not make the final 12-man roster.

Simmons had a challenging 2022-23 NBA season, averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game for the Nets in 31.8 minutes of play.