Of the three college basketball players to try out for the Australian Olympic basketball team just one was fortunate enough to make it.
Saint Mary’s rising senior point guard Matthew Dellavedova was the choice, and he’ll join another Gael in the Boomers’ quest for gold in London next month.
San Antonio Spurs guard Patrick Mills, who was WCC Newcomer of the Year back in 2008, will play in the Olympics for the second time and with Andrew Bogut out due to injury will be expected to lead the way for Australia.
Dellavedova is coming off of a season in which he earned WCC Player of the Year honors, leading Saint Mary’s to a 27-6 record and the WCC regular season and tournament crowns.
“Both Delly and Patty have proven themselves to be among the top players in Australia and it is quite an honor to represent their country in the Olympic Games,” said Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett in a statement released by the school.
“In 2008, Patty showed how invaluable the experience of playing in the Olympics can be. Hopefully, Delly can have a similar experience, play well against the world’s elite players and return to Saint Mary’s this fall for a great senior year.”
Outside of a positive experience in London the hope for Bennett and Gaels fans is that Dellavedova can use this experience as a springboard like Mills did in 2008.
Mills’ scoring average jumped nearly four points in 2008-09 (18.4), and his rebounding and assist averages increased as well.
Dellavedova will be the sole collegian on the team, as Saint Louis’ Cody Ellis and Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff did not make the team.