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BC-BKO--Australia-Simmons,1st Ld-Writethru

May 15, 2019
Ben Simmons is set to play for Australia at the FIBA World Cup after confirming in an online video “I’m going to be a Boomer for the upcoming events.” Simmons’ NBA season ended when his Philadelphia 76ers were knocked out of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7-ending buzzer-beater for Toronto.

SYDNEY (AP) — Ben Simmons is set to play for Australia at the FIBA World Cup after confirming in an online video “I’m going to be a Boomer” for upcoming events.

Simmons’ NBA season ended when his Philadelphia 76ers were knocked out of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7-ending buzzer-beater for Toronto.

The NBA All-Star told his fans to stay tuned about upcoming events in the video he posted on Twitter but he later confirmed on Weibo, the Chinese social media channel, that he was “looking forward to representing my country Australia” in the World Cup. He’s likely to join the likes of Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova in Australia’s squad for the World Cup, which starts Aug. 31 in China.

Simmons was criticized in Philadelphia for his lack of impact in the playoffs, but used the video to also thank fans for their support.

Australia’s Boomers have never finished higher than fourth in the World Cup or Olympics but are growing in confidence with an increasing number of players in the NBA.

The Boomers are scheduled to play warmups against Canada in Perth, Australia, on Aug. 16 and 17 and against the World Cup champion U.S. team in Melbourne on Aug. 22 and 24.

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