NBL legend Mark Bradtke will be the newest face joining the Australian Boomers as they move into the third window of FIBA World Cup qualification games.
Bradtke takes on the role of Team Leader centred around the management of the Boomers as a whole, with the position key given the short turnaround between games in the new qualification format.
The former Australian star has begun working through the organisation of logistics for the upcoming overseas trip for the third window of games, which includes travel to Japan (June 29) and the Philippines (July 2) over the course of four days.
“It’s always exciting to be around the Boomers and there are plenty of things on with the qualifiers, the World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2020 so it’s a great time to be with the team,” Bradtke said.
Bradtke is well versed in Boomers play, making his Olympic debut in 1988 becoming the youngest player to represent Australia in basketball at the games. He went on to play for the Boomers again in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
“Since I retired I have been working at my own business for the last ten years,” said Bradtke.
“Luc Longley approached me at the beginning of this year, feeling out whether I’d like to take over the role.
“I think he liked the idea of having someone who had played for the Boomers before and I jumped at the opportunity.”
Bradtke owns the NBL rebounding record, is third all-time for total blocks, fifth for games played and sixth for points while he won Championships in 1993 and 1997 with the Melbourne Tigers and in 2007 with the Brisbane Bullets.
“It will be a different role, going from a player to an administrator but I haven’t played in 11 years so I am looking forward to being around the team environment again.
“Being retired, that is one thing you do miss. At the moment I am spending time doing administrative stuff and planning everything that the guys need before camp but I think it will hit me even more once we get going properly.”
The Boomers will begin their training camp on June 20 and head to Japan later in the month before hitting the court for their last two games of the first round of qualifiers on June 29 and July 2.
With an unbeaten record through the first two windows, Australia have already qualified for the second round where they will cross over against Iran, Iraq, Qatar or Kazakhstan and success in those final six games will see them qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.[ooyala code=”xwc3M5ZTE6suyIntbogon5nQKsr7R65j” player_id=”d5b993422b3e4b5ebd61f9e19ca2a6a5″ auto=”true” width=”1920″ height=”1080″ pcode=”EwNWUyOqfDgjGTlv9lIu9RLGr__g”]