NBA star and Melbourne local Ben Simmons has confirmed his intention to play for the Australian Boomers when they take on Team USA at Marvel Stadium over two games in August.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula welcomed the Philadelphia 76er’s confirmation that he would don the green and gold in his home city.
Simmons’ start in an Australian team brimming with talent will ensure that thousands of basketball fans from across Australia and around the world descend on Melbourne for the two-match series.
It will be the first time the USA men’s national team has played in Australia for more than a decade and the series will be a crucial warm-up ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China.
The games between the Boomers and the USA confirm Melbourne as Australia’s sporting capital and a global events city.
The Australian Open tennis, Formula One Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival, AFL Grand Final, Presidents Cup golf and the women’s final of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup are among sporting fixtures set to enthral fans over the next 12 months.
The Andrews Labor Government is also committed to improving Marvel Stadium under a $225 million agreement with the AFL that will deliver a major redevelopment of the precinct to benefit sports fans and recreational users.
The Marvel Stadium deal guarantees the AFL Grand Final will be held at the MCG until 2057.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“This is huge news for basketball lovers who will travel from all corners of Australia to watch our Boomers take on Team USA at Marvel Stadium in August.” “Ben is an absolute star of the NBA and it will be great to see him play in front of a massive home crowd in Melbourne.” “Securing this basketball blockbuster series for Victoria confirms Melbourne as Australia’s sporting capital and a global major events mecca.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020