Goorjian keen to name Simmons in Boomers squad

Boomers coach Brian Goorjian won’t make any promises but says he is doing everything in his power to name Ben Simmons in an Australian men’s senior squad in the coming weeks in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Uncertainty hangs over Simmons and other Australian players’ involvement in the Olympics due to the NBA season.

The current 2020-2021 campaign has the NBA Finals finishing just a day before the Tokyo Games are set to begin on July 23.

This would effectively rule out NBA players competing in the finals from representing their countries because, at this point, a quarantine period is required for athletes to partake in the Games.

The best-case scenario for the Boomers is that the likes of Simmons, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes don’t make the finals or bow out in the earlier stages of the playoffs so they can leave to start preparations for the Olympics.

Goorjian understands the situation is evolving and out of his hands, but he would love for Simmons to don the Australian singlet in Tokyo.

“He (Ben) is right there at the very top and we are going through that process as we speak, and we are doing everything we can to have him on that list,” Goorjian said.

“I see him as vital and I feel that is a big part of my job to get the ones that Australia wants to see on that list.

“I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I’m certainly working at it.

“The whole country and the coaching staff wants to see Ben part of the Boomers’ Olympic squad.”

Australia would love to see Ben Simmons play at this year’s Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sarah Stier/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Goorjian has been busy with his NBL duties coaching the Hawks, but he plans to take some time out in the coming days to finalise his Australian squad in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

“We are discussing it (the squad) every week,” he said.

“We do want to get it out to the public, but we do have a little bit of time as far as the Australian Olympic Committee.

“I also want to see a little bit more and there are guys I want to look at and I’m getting the opportunity to speak to them.

“Also, my NBL schedule with the Hawks in the last two weeks has been brutal, so even on a Zoom call it has been really difficult to plan.

“I’ve got a few important phone calls to make for the Australian team, and I’ve got a six-day window coming up where I will really progress on the Boomers squad.

“But we are getting close to announcing the squad and it will be soon.”

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