Basketball in Australia
The national Basketball League of Australia tries to follow the example of the NBA: each team has its own name (“hawks”, “kings”, etc.), the League has sponsorship contracts with major TV channels, one foreign club (“new Zealand breakers” from New Zealand), a Commission agent, a Hall of Fame, an All-Star Game, and similar individual awards.
Among the winners of these individual awards are players who have played in the VTB United League. For example, in the 2007/08 season, former Loko defender Dontey Draper was named the Best sixth player, in the 2016/17 season, former Azovmash and Loko defender Jerome Randle became the tournament MVP, and in the last championship, DJ Newbill, who played for Avtodor, was named the Best defensive player.
The most decorated club in the history of the championship is the Perth Wildcats. They have 10 wins, 4 of which were won over the last 5 seasons.
In 1993, the head coach of “Khimki” Rimas Kurtinaitis played in the Australian championship. He became the first European in the history of basketball to play on the continent. The Lithuanian represented the Townsville suns for half of the season.
Oceania Champions(1971, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015), Asian Champions (2017)
The Australian national basketball team made its international debut in 1956. It happened at the home Olympic Games, which were held in Melbourne. Since then, the “boomers” (this is the nickname of the Australian team) have become Champions of Oceania 18 times, but never took a medal at a larger tournament.
The closest Australians came to winning medals were at the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). In all four cases, the boomers were fourth. In 1988, they sensationally beat the Spanish team in the quarterfinals (77: 74), but then lost heavily to Yugoslavia (70:91) and the United States (49:78). In Atlanta and Sydney, the Australians lost to Lithuania in the bronze medal matches (74: 80 and 71: 89). And in Rio de Janeiro, the Australians gave the bronze medals to the Spanish team in the last seconds (88: 89).
The Australian team also took 4th place at the World Cup in China in 2019. Then the boomers were prevented from winning medals by the Spaniards (88: 95 in the semifinals) and the French (59:67 in the match for the 3rd place).
The most famous players in Australian history
Patrick Mills. 2014 NBA champion with the San Antonio spurs and 4-time winner of Oceania championship gold medals. In 2019, mills was the second-best performer (182 points per tournament) at the world Cup in China.
Andrew Bogut. 1st pick of the 2005 NBA draft, 2015 NBA champion with the Golden state Warriors. Since 2018, Bogut has been playing in the home League for the Sydney kings.
David Andersen. The former CSKA center is a 4-time Oceania champion and 3-time Euroleague champion. Since 2018, Andersen has been playing in the home League for the Illawara hawks.
Andrew Gaze. The most decorated player in the history of the Australian championship. GaSe was the most productive player of the season 14 times, participated in the NBL All-Star Game 11 times, and was recognized as the most valuable player of the tournament 7 times. Also in the GaSe collection is the 1999 NBA championship ring (San Antonio spurs).