Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley says Perth Wildcats forward Nick Kay is a strong chance to make the final cut for the Australian World Cup basketball squad.
Kay was named in the extended 18-man squad earlier this morning along with a number of NBA stars, including Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles.
Longley said Kay’s effort made him a serious contender.
“It’s his work ethic, it’s his intangibles,” he said.
“He’s got a nose for the moment and he comes up big when you need him.”
Longley said Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis may favour Kay as an option because of his versatility.
“Andrej Lemanis always uses a mobile forward in his full-court pressure defence and we’re going to need to have pressure defence to generate easy buckets,” Longley said.
“I see Nick Kay as being a real candidate as someone that can play up the floor… guard across multiple positions, and he’s got a funny knack for scoring too.”
Despite being part of the selection team for the Boomers, Longley didn’t shy away from praising the Wildcat.
“I’m an unabashed Nick Kay fan and I have been ever since I started working with him,” he said.
“I’ve got to be careful saying that because I’m a selector, but I do like Nick Kay a lot and I’m glad to see him here in Perth.”
The potential Boomers line-up for this year’s FIBA World Cup is creating plenty of excitement for Australian basketball fans, with superstars from around the world committing to the campaign.
Longley said his team was optimistic about its chances.
“This group believes we can win it,” he said.
“It’s hard not to argue it’s the most talented Aussie squad assembled.
“We can only say that once we’ve won a medal (but) the fact it will be the most talent we’ve had on the floor is a good start, but it doesn’t guarantee us anything,” Longley said.
“This might be the golden moment in Australian basketball.”
The 2019 FIBA World Cup starts on August 31 but the Boomers will first take on Canada at Perth’s RAC Arena on August 16 and 17.