SYDNEY: Injured NBA star Andrew Bogut was Monday (Tuesday in Manila) included in Australia’s 12-man basketball squad for the Rio Olympics, along with San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills.
The 7-foot (2.13m) centre, who last week completed a move from the Golden State Warriors to the Dallas Mavericks, has been sidelined with a left knee injury since mid-June.
But he was named in the Australian roster and given until the last minute to prove his fitness and play at his third Olympics.
The 31-year-old helped the Warriors capture their first NBA title in 40 years in 2015 and sparked a run to a record 73 regular-season victories this past season, when Golden State fell one game shy of retaining their title.
While doubts remain over his fitness, there are no such concerns with fellow champion Mills, who was part of the Spurs team that won the 2014 NBA finals after defeating Miami Heat 4-1 in the best of seven series.
“We are going to Rio to win a medal,” Mills said.
“That is our goal and that is what we set out to do and we all believe in it, which is obviously key.
“We all understand it is going to be a very hard task but the belief in each other that we can get it done is very exciting.
“This is certainly one of the strongest teams I’ve been a part of,” he added.
Mills and Utah Jazz star Joe Ingles are off to their third Games while Milwaukee Bucks’ Matthew Dellavedova and Detroit Pistons’ Aron Baynes return after helping the side to seventh at the London 2012 Olympics.
Chris Goulding, Ryan Broekhoff, Cameron Bairstow, Brock Motum, Kevin Lisch and Damian Martin will make their Olympic debuts while veteran David Andersen heads to his fourth Games.
The men’s basketball team has come close to winning an Olympic medal on three occasions after finishing fourth at Seoul 1988, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.
They play their first match in Rio on August 6 against France.