MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown will guide the Australian men’s team at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Basketball Australia said Wednesday he will succeed Andrej Lemanis, who coached the Boomers to the semifinals at the 2016 Olympics — the team’s best Olympic result — and this year’s World Cup. The governing body did not say how long Brown will coach Australia.
Australia is one of seven men’s teams to have already qualified for Tokyo. Its roster could include Philadelphia star Ben Simmons. Australia also has several other NBA players, including Utah’s Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova and San Antonio’s Patty Mills.
Brown coached the Australian team from 2009 to 2012 and was an assistant from 1995 to 2003, including the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
“We’re going to the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal,” Brown said in a Basketball Australia statement. “This is our mission and my message to our team.”
He said when the opportunity arose to again coach the Boomers, “I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball.”
“I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could,” he added. “The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport … I’m very excited to be a part of that again.”