Basketball Australia is excited to announce that Andrej Lemanis has been appointed as the Australian Helloworld Boomers Head Coach as the four-year cycle towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins.
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Moore said, “We are thrilled to have secured Andrej to lead our charge into Asia ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China and Tokyo Olympics.
"Andrej was exceptional for the entire Australian basketball system over the past four years in his previous role with Basketball Australia and combined with the performance of the team in Rio, we were eager to retain him as our Boomers Head Coach.
“Importantly, this appointment allows Andrej to continue to do what he does best in practicing his craft and coaching the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL.
"We are grateful for the support of the Bullets and the NBL,” Moore added.
It is an exciting time for the Helloworld Boomers and Australian basketball fans alike with the new FIBA World Cup qualifying system allowing the national men’s team to play at home every three months over the next two years, starting in November 2017.
These games across 2017, 2018 and 2019 will aid in Australia qualifying for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
The next four years are packed for the Helloworld Boomers as prior to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, basketball will feature for just the second time in Commonwealth Games history with two Gold Medals on offer for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“I am both humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity by Basketball Australia to once again be the head of the Helloworld Boomers,” Lemanis said.
“The support of those within Basketball Australia to remain in the position has been overwhelming and I’m really appreciative of the support that the organisation has shown me.”
Lemanis will retain his current duties as head coach of the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL while continuing his role with the Helloworld Boomers for the next four years. The Helloworld Boomers Head Coach role will commence 1 May 2017.
"Andrej is an exemplary head coach, we are very pleased that he has been once again chosen to represent Australia and we are confident that his tireless pursuit of excellence stands the team in very good stead for the World Cup,” said Chief Executive Officer of the NBL, Jeremy Loeliger.
“We are also very proud that he will also be representing the NBL, along with many of our players who in coming years will have the opportunity to wear the green and gold and further spread the word as to just how far our competition has come."
Lemanis’ coaching career began as assistant coach for the Townsville Crocodiles from 1998-2005, helping them reach the Grand Final in 2001 before he took over the head coaching role at the New Zealand Breakers.
There, he transformed the club into the envy of the league as he led them to three consecutive titles from 2011-13 while winning Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2013.
Internationally, Lemanis was appointed head coach of the Helloworld Boomers in April 2013 after serving as assistant coach under Brett Brown.
He led the national team to a series win at the Sino-Australia Challenge over China before ensuring Australia would again have top billing in the region, defeating New Zealand at the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships to gain qualification into the Rio Olympics.
The Helloworld Boomers broke new ground at Rio as they won their opening group game for the first time since 1996, won their first two group games for the first time ever and fell just short in of a medal in a heart-breaking one-point loss to Spain.
“The Helloworld Boomers performances in Rio were outstanding and they inspired and captured the hearts of our Nation,” said Jan Stirling, General Manager High Performance.
“They demonstrated an Aussie spirit which left a legacy of a team that played for each other, not just with each other and there is a unique difference in that.”
Looking towards the next four years, Lemanis is excited about the opportunities that the new FIBA qualification process will provide.
“I think we have a feeling of unfinished business,” he said.
“The FIBA qualifiers will provide opportunities for new players to step up and wear the green and gold as we work towards our goal of trying to achieve something that no previous men’s team has been able to do.
"That is, medal at a major event at the FIBA World Championships in 2019 or the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.”
Further announcements on additional appointments for Assistant Coaches and support staff will be made in the coming months.