SPAIN – Former Washington State University men’s basketball student-athletes, Klay Thompson, Aron Baynes, Brock Motum and Thomas Abercrombie are each representing their respective countries at the 2014 FIBA World Cup held in Spain.
Representing the United States is Thompson, who starred at WSU from 2009-11. Currently the Americans are 2-0 in Group C action with a 114-55 victory over Finland, Saturday, Aug. 30 and a come-from-behind, 98-77 win over Turkey, Sunday. Thompson led the U.S. with 18 points while going 7-for-10 from the field in the win over Finland and is averaging 12.0 points, 1.5 steals and 1.0 rebounds per game after scoring 6 points against Turkey.
Also in Group C is Abercrombie, who was a member of the Cougars from 2007-08. He redshirted his freshman year in 2006-07 and played one season before heading back home to focus on basketball in New Zealand. The Tall Blacks, as they’re called, are 0-2 in Group C, falling to Turkey, 76-73, in their first game Saturday, Aug. 30, and to the Dominican Republic, 76-63 in their second game, Sunday. Abercrombie led New Zealand with 22 points in the loss to the Dominican Republic after opening group play with 5 points. He’s averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Representing Australia are Baynes (2006-09) and Motum (2010-13), competing in Group D. The Boomers, as their national team is referred to as, are 1-1 after opening competition Saturday with a 90-80 loss to Slovenia and turning around for an 89-55 victory over Korea the following day. Baynes is leading Australia with 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds. He led the Boomers in the opener with 22 points and is tied for 14th in the tournament in scoring and ranked seventh in rebounding. Motum scored 8 points in both games for the Boomers, averaging 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
All three teams had Monday off but resume action Tuesday as the United States faces off against New Zealand in Group C and Australia faces Lithuania (2-0).