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Brett Brown has been appointed head coach of Australia for their Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo next year.

The Boomers turned to a familiar face after the departure of Andrej Lemanis, who led Australia to the semi-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Philadelphia 76ers boss Brown coached Australia between 2009 and 2012, overseeing a run to the quarter-finals of the 2012 London Games.

Brown, who works with Australia and 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons in the NBA as well as Jonah Bolden, is eyeing gold at the 2020 Olympics.

“When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball,” Brown said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could. The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport. That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I’m very excited to be a part of that again.

“This is our mission and my message to our team: We’re going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal. I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this.”

After 11 years as an assistant to Gregg Popovich at the San Antonio Spurs, Brown took the reins of the 76ers in 2013.

Since moving to Philadelphia, Brown has led the 76ers to back-to-back Eastern Conference semi-finals.

“Given their shared history from the London Olympics, Brett is perfectly positioned to continue in Andrej’s footsteps,” Basketball Australia (BA) CEO Jerril Rechter said. “Brett is a proven, elite international coach who will bring significant experience and understanding of the Boomers environment and we’re delighted to welcome him aboard.”

BA president and chairman of the board Ned Coten added: “Next year represents another significant opportunity for Australian basketball on the world stage. We’ve been fortunate to have Andrej establish the Boomers as one of the world’s strongest basketball teams, which is a testament to his dedication to the role.

“Heading into an Olympic year, we’re excited to see what this group of players can achieve and wish Brett all the very best in guiding the Boomers forward.”

www.sports24ghana.com

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