Boomers set to open London Olympic venue
The Boomers Australian men’s basketball team will have the honour of being one of the first two teams to play at the new Olympic basketball venue in London when they participate in the opening game of the official Olympic basketball test event next week.
The Boomers will play in the very first game of the London International Basketball Invitational at Olympic Park’s Basketball Arena when they take on China on Tuesday 16 August at 3:30PM local London time.
Part of the London Prepares series, the London International Basketball Invitational will be hosted and run entirely by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and will be used to test key aspects of its operations in preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Apart from the Chinese, who are ranked tenth in the world, the Boomers will face teams from France (ranked 14th), Croatia (19th), Serbia (8th) and host nation Great Britain (56th) at the tournament.
Despite the recent riots in London, Boomers head coach Brett Brown has told AAP that he expects the test event to go ahead as planned.
"It (the test event being called off) is not even worth worrying about - you got to keep moving and that's that," Brown told AAP from the Gold Coast, where the Boomers are currently in training camp.
"I suppose it would be naive to not think there will be a little wait and see, but we are planning on going and no one has said any differently."
Brown said that, with the tournament being an Olympic test, he was confident in the event security.
"I am not (concerned). I have faith in all the security measures over there,” he said.
"Basketball Australia keeps us up to date.
"They liaise with the government and make sure it is safe to travel.
"It is still four or five days away.
"I feel comfortable that we will get on a plane to London and they will do a great job of handling it."
The Boomers will announce their 14-man European touring team on Friday. The London event is the first leg of the Boomers’ tour, which will also include a pair of games against Spain.
The European tour is part of the Boomers’ final preparation ahead of their Olympic qualification series, the 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship, in September which will see the Boomers and ‘Jayco’ Opals take on archrivals New Zealand in a unique double-header event for the right to play in London 2012.
Game One of that series will be in Melbourne on 7 September at the State Netball Hockey Centre (AKA ‘The Cage’), Game Two at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on 9 September and Game Three at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on 11 September. Tickets for the Melbourne and Sydney games are on sale now through Ticketmaster, while tickets to the Brisbane game are now being sold through Ticketek.
London International Basketball Invitational - Schedule
16 Aug Olympic Test Event vs. China - London, England
17 Aug Olympic Test Event vs. France - London, England
18 Aug Olympic Test Event vs. Croatia - London, England
20 Aug Olympic Test Event vs. Serbia - London, England
21 Aug Olympic Test Event vs. Great Britain - London, England
Event website: http://www.londonpreparesseries.com/basketball/index.html