Ben Simmons will be taking a trip back to his homeland as he announced via Twitter that he will play for the Australian National Team during the offseason.
In the video, the 76ers point guard gives thanks to his fans for their support during the season, before adding, “Also I’d like to announce that I am going to be a Boomer for the upcoming events, so stay tuned.”
As per Fox Sports’ Ollgun Uluc, Simmons confirmed on his Weibo page, that he will be making the trip to China for the FIBA World Cup.
It’s confirmed. Ben Simmons will play for the Australian Boomers in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Fittingly, he announced it on his Weibo page.
According to ESPN, Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis had been hesitant to add Simmons to the already star-studded squad featuring fellow NBA stars Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Aron Baynes, saying in December; “Ben wants to play for the Boomers but in terms of the World Cup he has a pretty important off-season coming up in the NBA.” Noting, “He needs to navigate himself through all of that before he can confirm his availability.”
Still, the Simmons addition will be a great boost for the Boomers.
Simmons will most likely play in Australia’s marquee exhibition games against Team USA in Melbourne in August as well.
Australia kicks off their World Cup preparations with a lineup of games against Canada and Team USA in Melbourne and Perth. This marks Simmons’ first appearance in a Boomers jersey since he made his debut in 2013 against New Zealand in the FIBA Oceania Championship.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place from August 31 to September 15th, 2019 in eight different cities in China, with the Boomers drawn in Group H alongside Lithuania, Canada and Senegal.