Former LSU star Ben Simmons will not play for Australia at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
“Ben Simmons will postpone playing with the Australian Olympic team this summer in order to concentrate fully on his NBA activities following the upcoming 2016 NBA draft,'” Simmons’s agent Rich Paul said in a statement to ESPN. “Australian Olympic Team training and competition takes place at the same time as the various NBA summer development programs, and therefore, Ben will look forward to his national team participation at some time later in his career.”
Simmons, 19, is considered a lottery pick and potential No. 1 selection in June’s NBA draft. He finished his freshman campaign with an average of 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
Last month, he was one of 26 players in a pool for Australia’s Olympic basketball team.
Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors and Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers may also be considered for Australia’s national team. Dellavedova was a member of the 2012 Olympics team while Bogut played for the Boomers in 2004 and 2008.
Simmons told Australian team representatives that he would be open to playing for the team in the future.
- Chris Chavez