Angus Brandt bounces into Boomers squad

Springwood's Angus Brandt during the 2013 Sino-Australia Challenge match between the Australian Boomers and China at Challenge Stadium, Perth on May 31. Photo: Getty Images.

Springwood's Angus Brandt during the 2013 Sino-Australia Challenge match between the Australian Boomers and China at Challenge Stadium, Perth on May 31. Photo: Getty Images.

Springwood native Angus Brandt's childhood dream of playing basketball for Australia came true last week when he made his debut for the Boomers in their four-game series against China, which finished 2-all.

Brandt was picked in the Boomers' training squad last month on the back of great form for US College basketball team Oregon State Beavers, where he averaged 12.6 points per game and 3.9 rebounds in his fifth and final season.

"I was extremely proud to be named in the Boomers squad for this series," Brandt told the Gazette on Friday.

"There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than representing your country - it's a dream realised.

"I didn't think I would earn it so soon after college and was surprised when I was called up for camp."

Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis showed faith in the talented 24-year-old, giving him an average of 12 minutes on the court for the series, which started with a nail-biting extra-time 97-95 win by Australia in Perth, followed by a more convincing 85-64 win in game two.

China hosted and won the final two games 95-80 and 95-90.

Brandt made the most of his time after a quiet game by his standards, stepping up in defence and scoring points through accurate free throws and some nice jump hook shots and lay-ups in games two and three.

He seemed to lift whenever things got heated between the sides.

In game three when the Boomers ran into foul trouble, Brandt scored 10 of Australia's 80 points and was equal-third highest point-scorer.

"I was a little nervous running out in game one, but I think I handled it much better because of playing in the States.

"I pride myself on playing hard and physical and I think I feed off big plays and get energy as a result to keep playing hard."

With Australia's NBA stars and most of its European-based professionals due to return to the Boomers squad ahead of the 2014 Basketball World Cup which begins in Spain on August 31, the Sino-Australian Challenge Series gave coach Lemanis a great opportunity to give promising players like Brandt a taste of international basketball.

Brandt will now focus on relocating to Australia to begin another dream - playing in the National Basketball League (NBL) next season.

The Gazette understands he is in final negotiations that will determine which club he plays for.

"At this stage all I can say is I will be [playing] in the NBL."

His younger brother, Louis, is a Penrith Panthers Waratah League player and a current member of the Sydney Kings development squad.

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