Josh Giddey is set to make his mark on the international basketball stage after sitting on the sidelines for Australia in previous campaigns.
Two years ago, the then-18-year-old was included in the extended Boomers squad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
He competed for a spot on the team but didn’t make it, meaning he didn’t take part in their bronze medal winning campaign.
That was all the motivated he needed.
In an exhibition game against Venezuela on Monday night in Melbourne, Giddey proved he is more than ready to take on the world.
The OKC shooting guard recorded 14 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and one block, while shooting 5-of-7 from the floor in only 24 minutes of playing time.
The performance was by far the most well-rounded by any player on the team – Giddey’s way of saying that he’s ready to be the face of the Boomers and help them on their quest for a gold medal.
Australian coach Brian Goorjian is well and truly on the Josh train and recently explained how the team is going to put the ball in young talent’s hands a lot.
He was also adamant that Giddey has a long-term and exciting future with the team.
“He’s a huge piece of this moving forward,” Goorjian told ESPN recently. “Not just this, but it’s like an Andrew Gaze, as far as the Boomers. What he is, and as we get him with the group, and as it expands, a lot of it’s gotta be built around him.”
Houston Rockets center Jock Landale says that although Giddey didn’t make the side for the Tokyo Olympics, he left an impression during training camp and everyone knew once he got his own spot on the team that it would be special.
“I think we were all looking around at each other at that time, saying, ‘wow, this guy, he’ll be ready to roll when his number’s called’.
“Giddey sets the standard of, eventually you’re gonna be the guy for this program, and he’s an unselfish player, so that sets the standard straight out of the gates: he’s already embodied the Boomers mentality, and our culture, just through how he plays. It’s gonna come naturally to him, and he’ll fit in really nicely.”
Crazily, Giddey is still only 20 years old at this point which makes him about the same age as some of the rookies from the 2023 NBA Draft class, like Brandon Miller and the Thompson twins Ausar and Amen.
The Boomers have put together arguably their best-ever team, which features a whole heap of current NBA players.
So expect them to be as motivated as ever.