CANBERRA, Australia – Although they never played in Cougar uniforms together, former Washington State men’s basketball student-athletes, Aron Baynes and Brock Motum, will share a court this summer as the two were selected to the Airbnb Australian Boomers Team that will compete in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, Aug. 30 through Sept. 14.
A member of the NBA-Champion Spurs, Baynes competed with the Boomers (also known as Australia’s national team) at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom after first-earning a spot on the Boomers’ roster in 2010 for the FIBA World Championships. Motum is making his first appearance with the Boomers after being selected to the team in late July following training camp.
A native of Cairns, Australia, Baynes played for the Cougars for four seasons, from 2006-09, becoming the 30th Cougar to score 1,000 career points, accomplishing the feat March 7, 2009, WSU’s regular-season finale that year. He finished his career with 1,064 points, ranking 25th on the all-time career scoring list. A 6-foot-10 center, Baynes helped lead the Cougars to back-to-back NCAA Tournament Appearances in 2007 and 2008, as WSU advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ his junior season. During his senior season, the Cougars made their third-straight postseason appearance, advancing to the first round of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Motum ranks fifth in WSU’s career record books with 1,530 points scored in four seasons. He led the Cougars and the Pac-12 in scoring two-straight seasons with 18.0 points per game in 2011-12 and 18.7 ppg in 2012-13. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, he was named the league’s most improved player while earning first team all-conference honors. He was named All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2013. He most recently played with the Utah Jazz in the 2014 NBA Summer League and has been invited to their training camp.
The Boomers will depart for Europe on Tuesday, Aug. 5, beginning their nine-game pre-FIBA Basketball World Cup tour in Lithuania, where they will face their Group D rivals along with Finland and Ukraine. This will be followed by a one-game stay in Helsinki to take on Finland in front of their home crowd, before travelling to the south of France for games against the French, Ukraine and The Philippines in Nice. Rounding out the Airbnb Boomers preparation will be two games in Strasbourg near the French-German border, with fixtures against Finland and France prior to arriving in the Canary Islands.
The Airbnb Boomers open their 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Gran Canaria against Slovenia Saturday morning, Aug. 30. Based in the Canary Island city of Gran Canaria, the Boomers will also face Angola, Korea, Lithuania and Mexico, playing five games in six days prior to the knockout phase.