Norton’s NBL form rewarded with national selection for Asia Cup series Boom time for Mitch
MITCH Norton has been summoned to a number of meetings after Boomers trainon camps before and it’s always ended the same way – “sorry, you’ve just missed out on the team”.
So, it’s no surprise the Townsville product was over the moon when he was told the news he would make his international debut in Australia’s SYDNEY Kings swingman Brad Newley will use the Boomers’ Asia Cup campaign in Lebanon as an invaluable chance to push his claims for a spot at the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
After missing out on Australian selection for the Rio Olympics last year, Newley is back in the green and gold for the Asia Cup.
The Boomers will field a team of NBL players, with stars like Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut unavailable as they prepare for the NBA season.
The absence of Mills and co is a loss, but it opens the door for players like Newley to cement a position in a full- strength Boomers side.
Australia have important tournaments coming up, including the World Cup in China in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We are missing some big time guys, but things and can happen and spots can open up, so we’ve got to be ready at all times,” said Newley, who made his senior Boomers debut at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. “It’s pretty big for me. “I’ve been lucky to represent Australia pretty much my whole career.
“Even now I’m a little bit older, I still feel the same way going to selection.
“I’m pretty excited.” FIBA Asia Cup campaign Lebanon.
The Boomers kick off their campaign against Japan tonight ( Australian time) and the Illawarra Hawks point guard wants to prove coach Andrej Lemanis’s faith is well placed.
“I’m over the moon,” he said.
“It was pretty nerve- racking walking into the room with the coaches there ( after training camp), but when they said ‘ you’re good to go, we’re taking you to Lebanon’ it was a pretty amazing feeling.
“I’ve been involved in a few camps but this is the first time in I’ll pull on a Boomers jersey, which is pretty exciting.”
The 24- year- old had a strong first season with the Hawks after linking up with them when the Townsville Crocodiles folded.
He averaged eight points and three assists a game to help guide them to the NBL grand final series, where they were beaten by Perth.
Norton is renowned for his defence and love of a scrap, and hopes to use those qualities to press his claims for a spot in the World Cup team, when Australia’s NBA stars will be available. TOWNSVILLE Flames star Darcee Garbin made a bittersweet exit from the city last night with World University Games commitments meaning she will miss the QBL playoffs.
A championship winner with the Townsville Fire, Garbin has starred for the Flames in the WNBL offseason with impressive averages of 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game making her a legitimate MVP candidate.
The 23- year- old will be sorely missed by the Flames in their finals opener against Gladstone this weekend but Garbin had full confidence in
The four teams who qualify for the Asia Cup semi- finals will qualify for the World Cup in 2019.
Norton approached the train- on camp with more confidence than previously after his breakout campaign for Illawarra.
“Coming off the back of a pretty good year with the Hawks, I had a bit more confidence about my game that I can match it with the guys there,” Norton said.
“I took that into the camp and I guess did well enough to make the team.
“Every time you pull on a her teammates to get the job done without her.
“I always knew there was a chance I would miss QBL finals if I was selected for the Uni Games and I let the club know that before the season started,” she said.
“Any chance to represent Australia always takes priority but I’ve got full faith in the girls for the Gladstone game.
“We’ve been playing great the last few weeks, we had three good wins on the weekend and the girls can go down there quite confident.”
While Garbin was disappointed to Boomers jersey it’s a chance to show what you’ve got on a major stage.
“I’ll go out and play my role and try to work on different areas of the game I’ve been working on and hopefully it’s good enough to be invited to a camp with those ( NBA) guys.
“Any time you’re training with NBA players, listening and watching them is always a major tool.”
The Boomers- Japan clash will be televised on Fox Sports from 11pm tonight, with the bronze and gold medal games Australia hope to be playing in taking place on August 20. miss the post- season with her Flames teammates, the chance to pull on the green and gold was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down.
Garbin is joined in the team by a host of the WNBL’s top young players and after missing on a medal at the 2015 games the James Cook University student is determined to improve on that result when the games kick off in Chinese Taipei later this month.
“I’ve been pretty happy with how consistent I’ve played throughout the QBL season and that gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few weeks,” she said.
“I really enjoyed the 2015 games but it was disappointing to not get a medal and the expectation on any Aussie team going into a tournament is to be in those medal playoffs.
“A few of the girls on this team were in the under- 19s Aussie team with me a few years ago and I know we’re all looking forward to going over there and playing our best.”
Coached by former Fire coach Chris Lucas, the team will spend the next few weeks in Japan for training and a warm- up tournament, before the games get under way in Chinese Taipei on August 21.