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Andrej-Lemanis-24-04-2013
Andrej Lemanis (AUS)
24/04/2013
AUS - Lemanis appointed Boomers coach

SYDNEY (FIBA Oceania Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Andrej Lemanis turned the New Zealand Breakers into the NBL's most dominant team during his time with the club, leading the outfit to the last three championships.

Now the 44-year-old has agreed to coach his country's national team, Australia's Boomers.

Lemanis succeeds Brett Brown, the coach he assisted at last year's Olympics in London.

He will also serve as head of the men's program at the Basketball Australia National Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

"I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the Boomers during this Olympic cycle," Lemanis said.

"The foundation laid by Brett over the last four years has placed the team in a great position.

"We have a core group of players who are all committed to the program and are excited about the future.

"The experience we have gained together over the past four years will serve us well as we move forward."

Lemanis will be at the helm as Australia compete against the New Zealand Tall Blacks in this summer's FIBA Oceania Championship and at next year's FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

He will then attempt to steer the national side past the Tall Blacks at the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship, a qualifying event for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Just as they did at the Beijing Games, the Aussies reached the Quarter-Finals of last year's Olympics and were knocked out by the United States.

A couple of Boomers, Joe Ingles of Barcelona and Aron Baynes of the San Antonio Spurs, have expressed their excitement about the Lemanis appointment.

Ingles (@Joeingles7) tweeted: "Congrats to Andrej Lemanis on being named new head coach of Australia...Can't wait to work under you."

Baynes (@aronbaynes) said: "New #boomers coach, 3 time NBL championship coach Andrej Lemanis!!! Congratulations mate, looking forward to the journey!"

The appointment of Lemanis has followed the Australian Sports Commission announcement that funding for the Boomers program under the Winning Edge 2012-2022 high performance strategy is to remain unchanged for 2013/14 "with future funding in 2014/15 and beyond dependent on the program's potential for international success."

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally fully expects Lemanis to get the country back to the Olympics.

"In Andrej, we have a coach with an inherent understanding of the men's national team program and a winning pedigree," Keneally said.

"What he has achieved during his time with the New Zealand Breakers is nothing short of remarkable - creating a culture of success that has led to three consecutive NBL Championships...

"We expect that the Boomers will go into the 2016 Rio Olympics with the strongest squad to date and their strongest chances yet of winning a medal - particularly with the increased resources we're putting behind them."

Lemanis became coach of the Breakers in 2005 and not only led the team, but also played an integral part in setting up the club's academy where youngsters have flourished and become important members of the New Zealand national team.

"I leave the Breakers with a heavy heart," Lemanis said on the club's website.

"I am extremely proud of what we have been able to build here over the past eight years and take comfort in knowing that the club is in a better position now than when I arrived."

Lemanis believes the Breakers can continue to have success.

He said: "We have proven time and time again that the club is bigger than any one person - and so it is with me."

FIBA

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