Giddey to follow Simmons in Boomers debut

Joshua Giddey is poised to make his Boomers debut against Hong Kong on Sunday.
Joshua Giddey is poised to make his Boomers debut against Hong Kong on Sunday.

Josh Giddey is poised to become the youngest Boomer since Ben Simmons when Australia play Hong Kong on Sunday.

Simmons was barely 17 when he appeared in green and gold in New Zealand nearly seven years ago in a relatively low-key international debut.

The No.1 NBA draft pick has since gone on to become a two-time NBA All-Star but, while likely to feature at this year's Tokyo Olympics, hasn't been sighted in a Boomers team since.

Like Simmons, Giddey is the Melbourne-born son of an NBL stalwart and at about 200cm boasts a similar height advantage at point guard.

With NBA scouts from every club watching on, the 17-year-old was named an All Star at Chicago's Basketball Without Border Global Camp last weekend.

It meant he was late into the Boomers camp in Brisbane and never in the frame to debut alongside five others in Thursday's 108-98 Asia Cup qualifier loss to New Zealand.

But interim Boomers coach Will Weaver indicated he would get his chance at Nissan Arena on Sunday, adding another milestone to an already busy year that includes starring in the under-20 national championships final.

"We're trying to sew the seeds that will be reaped down the line," Weaver said.

"We weren't going to throw him into that game (against New Zealand) for your first opportunity after just getting off a plane.

"But he's been good in training, the bit he's been able to do."

Giddey's father Warrick enjoyed a 449-game NBL career and it has rubbed off on his son, who plans to bypass the United States college system and launch at the NBA via the improved Australian league.

Thursday's loss was the Boomers' first in 11 years to New Zealand, who exploited the absence of not only Australia's overseas-based players but also those set to feature in next week's NBL finals.

Both teams are still all but certain to qualify for the Asia Cup though, with Australia only needing to finish ahead of Guam and Hong Kong in the drawn-out qualification process to defend their title next year.

Australian Associated Press