Melbourne United star David Andersen takes “paternal leave” for Boomers opening FIBA World Cup qualifiers
Melbourne United forward David Andersen says he has been excused from the Australian Boomers for their first two FIBA World Cup qualifiers on parental grounds.
The 37 year old, four-time Olympian has been a long time servant of the national team but after the birth of he and wife Nerida’s third child last week, Andersen will not be a part of the Boomers away trip to Taipei on November 24 and their home game against Japan in Adelaide on November 27.
FIBA’s new qualifying system begins this month as the world body adopts a format similar to world cup soccer where nations play home and away qualifiers within their regions every three months.
With NBA players not eligible for selection during the US season, Australia’s NBL based players will lead the Boomers with Andersen expected to be a senior figure.
Andersen said he still planned to put his hand up for selection in February’s qualifiers.
“I spoke to Andrej personally and I spoke to my family and I took some paternal leave, some might call it that,” Andersen said.
“He said it would be alright, the games we have got are not super difficult games, I hope it will all be smooth and the boys will get the job done.
“It’s a shame to miss a game on home soil but for me it was a matter of spending time around the family, especially at this time of the NBL season where I can build up my body for the longer season ahead.”
Andersen said his wife and baby son Livio were healthy and at home.
He capped off a busy week with his best game so far this seasonscoring 13 points in 14 minutes as Melbourne beat Adelaide 101-84 on Saturday night.
Melbourne United face another torrid weekend double this round flying to Cairns to face the Taipans on Thursday night then returning home to host the struggling Sydney Kings at Hisense Arena on Saturday at 5.30pm.
Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman passes 100 games as a head coach this round.
But after 20 years in playing and coaching roles, Vickerman knows results, starting with Cairns, mean more than milestones.
“Cairns are believing in their zone defence at the moment, they are throwing that out there a lot,” Vickerman said.
“When we played them here last Thursday we sped them up with our defence by challenging and gambling, so we felt there was some positive results and we need to keep trusting it.”
Melbourne United play Cairns Taipans in Cairns on Thursday night then host Sydney Kings at Hisense Arena on Saturday at 5.30pm.