Boomers happy to see Bogut play­ing on

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIAN bas­ket­ball coach An­drej Le­ma­nis is thrilled with An­drew Bogut’s plans to push on un­til Tokyo 2020, say­ing he would in­volve the vet­eran NBA cen­tre in his Olympic plans even if he was hop­ping on one foot.

Iron­i­cally that is where Bogut finds him­self at present, in Mel­bourne re­cov­er­ing from a bro­ken leg he suf­fered less than a minute into his Cleve­land Cava­liers de­but last sea­son.

But Bogut is hope­ful of find­ing a new NBA club soon and has sig­nalled his in­ten­tion to play at least three more NBA sea­sons be­fore help­ing se­cure an elu­sive Olympic medal for the Boomers in Tokyo.

“It’s un­be­liev­able, it’s awe­some,” Le­ma­nis said of the 32year- old’s plans to play on.

“It shows his com­mit­ment and de­sire to play for his coun­try. In the past, peo­ple have ques­tioned him and that re­ally gets me up­set be­cause he re­ally puts him­self out for his coun­try and his team­mates to play for the Boomers.”

Bogut, a No. 1 NBA draft pick in 2005, was the early spear­head for the Boomers in the side’s most re­cent Olympic cam­paign in Brazil.

De­spite earn­ing ad­mi­ra­tion with their at­trac­tive style of play, the Boomers were cru­elly de­nied a first Olympic medal in a one- point loss to Spain in the bronze medal play­off.

Le­ma­nis made it clear Bogut would re­main cen­tral to op­er­a­tions ahead of the 2020 as­sault.

“Any­one who fol­lowed our cam­paign closely would’ve seen the dif­fer­ence to the team when he was part of it,” Le­ma­nis said.

“Just the con­fi­dence he brings to the group, the pres­ence on de­fence, the talk he gives you and the self­less play that he has of­fen­sively ... he makes ev­ery­one feel good about them­selves.”

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