SAN FRANCISCO – Washington State University men’s basketball rising-senior, Josh Hawkinson, was chosen as one of 12 Pac-12 men’s basketball student-athletes to travel to Melbourne, Australia for a series of cultural experiences and exhibition games against the Australia Men’s Basketball Team in July as part of a Pac-12 All-Star Men’s Basketball Team, the league announced Tuesday.
The 12 Pac-12 student-athletes come from 10 member schools and will participate in two games against the Australia Men’s National Team – known as the Australian Boomers – in its preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as a third contest versus a team from the semi-professional South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL). The trip comes as part of the Pac-12 Global initiative.
“This tour of Australia marks an important step forward in the Pac-12’s mission to use the power of sport to advance our schools’ reach around the world, and to give our student-athletes opportunities to learn about a new culture while playing a sport they love” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
Four-time Conference Coach of the Year and 2016 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Mike Montgomery will serve as head coach of the Pac-12 All-Star Men’s Basketball Team. Trent Johnson, a Coach of the Year in three different conferences, and former Stanford All-American guards Brevin Knight and Casey Jacobsen. Washington State strength coach, Scott Thom will travel as the team’s strength coach, as the support staff also includes California’s athletic trainer, Barry Parsons, and Arizona State’s director of basketball operations, Derrick Wrobel.
“Traveling to Australia with the Pac-12 team will not only be great for Josh and Scott, but for the entire Cougar basketball program,” Kent said. “Josh will have a wonderful opportunity, getting to play against great competition, such as the Australian Olympic team, and practicing with and against some of the best players from the conference, all while having our strength coach supervise his workouts and being led by a great coach in Mike Montgomery. When DaVonté Lacy went to China with the Pac-12 team prior to his senior season, it did a lot for his game, his confidence, and his reputation amongst coaches and fellow student-athletes in the league, and I’m excited to see the same for Josh.”
Joining 2016 honorable mention All-Pac-12 performer Josh Hawkinson, is fellow honorable mention performer, Jordan McLaughlin of USC and 2016 honorable mention Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection Wesley Gordon of Colorado. Those three will be joined by Kadeem Allen and Chance Comanche of Arizona, Tra Holder of Arizona State, Stephen Domingo of California, Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson, Jr. of Oregon State, Dorian Pickens of Stanford, Lorenzo Bonam of Utah and Matisse Thybulle of Washington.
The team will participate in a three-day training camp in Los Angeles from July 5-7 before the group embarks on the tour from July 9-14. Game dates are slated for Sunday, July 10 (vs. SEABL team), Tuesday, July 12 (vs. Australia MNT), and Thursday, July 14 (vs. Australia MNT). All three games will be held at Hisense Arena, a 10,500-seat venue that serves as the home of Melbourne United, the city’s franchise in the professional National Basketball League (NBL). The group will then return to the U.S. on July 15. The six-day tour will also provide student-athletes the opportunity to experience Australian culture, visit historic landmarks, and engage in off-the-court activities in the country’s second-most populous city.
Among the 17 finalists for the Australian Men’s National Team Olympic roster are two former Washington State men’s basketball standouts in Aron Baynes (2006-09) and Brock Motum (2010-13). Currently a member of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Baynes competed with Australia in the 2012 Olympics. Along with those two, the Boomers’ potential Olympic Games roster includes current NBA players Cameron Bairstow, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles and Patrick Mills.
Pac-12 Global was founded in 2011 and has already sent one All-Star Men’s Basketball Team abroad as a Pac-12 All-Star team traveled to China in August 2014 in advance of the first-ever regular season contest by any U.S. sports league in the nation when Washington faced Texas in Shanghai in November 2015. The second Pac-12 China Game will feature Stanford and Harvard in Shanghai on November 12, 2016, with television coverage in the U.S. on Nov. 11. Former Washington State guard, DaVonté Lacy went on the tour to China prior to his senior season (2014-15), in which he averaged 16.9 points per game and was named first team All-Pac-12.
2016 PAC-12 ALL-STAR MEN’S BASKETBALL ROSTER
NAME SCHOOL POS. HT. WT. YR. HOMETOWN
Kadeem Allen ARIZONA G 6-3 200 Sr. Wilmington, N.C.
Chance Comanche ARIZONA C 6-11 205 So. Beverly Hills, Calif.
Tra Holder ARIZONA STATE G 6-1 180 Jr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Stephen Domingo* CALIFORNIA G 6-7 217 R-Sr. San Francisco, Calif.
Wesley Gordon** COLORADO F 6-9 220 R-Sr. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Drew Eubanks OREGON STATE F 6-10 240 So. Troutdale, Ore.
Stephen Thompson Jr. OREGON STATE G 6-4 170 So. Los Angeles, Calif.
Dorian Pickens*** STANFORD G/F 6-5 215 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Jordan McLaughlin**** USC G 6-1 170 Jr. Etiwanda, Calif.
Lorenzo Bonam UTAH G 6-4 189 Jr. Inkster, Mich.
Matisse Thybulle WASHINGTON F 6-5 195 So. Issaquah, Wash.
Josh Hawkinson***** WASHINGTON STATE F 6-10 232 Sr. Shoreline, Wash.
* 2016 Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team
** 2016 Honorable Mention Pac-12 Defensive Team
*** 2016 Pac-12 All-Academic First Team
**** 2016 Honorable Mention All-Pac-12
***** 2016 Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 and 2016 Pac-12 All-Academic First Team