PULLMAN, Wash. – Former Washington State University men’s basketball standouts, Aron Baynes and Brock Motum, have been chosen for the 12-man 2016 Australian Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, also known as the Boomers, Basketball Australia announced Monday.
Currently with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Baynes (2006-09) will be competing in his second Olympics with the Australian National Team, as he also was a part of the basketball team at the 2012 London Olympics. Motum is currently a member of Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania and will be competing in his first Olympic Games. Although Baynes and Motum never wore a WSU uniform at the same time, both are former teammates of Klay Thompson (2009-11) who was named as a member of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team two weeks ago.
Joining Baynes and Motum on the official Australian roster are David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Kevin Lisch, Damian Martin and Patrick Mills. Bogut, Bairstow, Mills, Dellavedova and Ingles also play on NBA teams.
A native of Cairns, Australia, Baynes played for the Cougars for four seasons, from 2006-09, becoming the 30th Cougar to score 1,000 career points, accomplishing the feat March 7, 2009, WSU’s regular-season finale that year. He finished his career with 1,064 points, ranking 25th on the all-time career scoring list. A 6-foot-10 center, Baynes helped lead the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA Tournament Appearances in 2007 and 2008, as WSU advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ his junior season. During his senior season, the Cougars made their third-straight postseason appearance, advancing to the first round of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Motum finished his senior season in 2012-13 leading the Pac-12 in scoring for the second-straight year with 18.7 points per game. In WSU’s final regular season game, Motum moved into fifth on the WSU all-time career scoring list and finished his career with 1,530 points. That season Motum also became just the 12th Cougar to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in his career (539 rebounds). He was named the 2011 Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year and first team All-Pac-12, followed by a second-team all-Pac-12 nod in 2012.
The Australian Olympic Team will continue its preparations for the Rio Games as it takes on the Pac-12 All-Stars, featuring WSU rising-senior Josh Hawkinson at Hisense Arena in Melbourne on Tuesday (July 12) at 2:30 a.m. PT. It will be the first of two exhibition contests against the Boomers, as the two teams will also face each other on Thursday (July 14) at 2:30 a.m. PT. Both games will be carried live on the Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein and Don MacLean calling all the action. Both Tuesday and Thursday’s games will be replayed on Pac-12 Washington later each day at 6 p.m.