AIS helps players make it big in NBA
17 Jun 2015
The 2015 NBA finals are in full swing and Australian basketball is deservedly receiving world-wide attention with Andrew Bogut and Mathew Dellavedova battling it out on the biggest stage of all.
Fans and media in the United States are asking how does a country with a small population, where basketball is often overshadowed by the football codes, produce players that excel in the toughest competition in the world.
Last year we saw Patty Mills and Aron Baynes lift the NBA trophy for the Spurs while Dante Exum was drafted to the Utah Jazz straight from high school.
There are currently seven Australians plying their trade in the NBA.
So what is it about Australian players that they can make the grade with thousands of U.S college athletes vying for a spot?
Some say it is the Australian way of hard work and persistence.
Others in the know can also point to an institution that has been producing successful Australian male and female basketballers since 1981.
The Australian Institute of Sport basketball program in Canberra now known as the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence takes teenage athletes and prepares them for the next step at the elite level.
With 13 of the 15 Aussies that have played in the NBA competition, including all 7 current players, having attended the program, the record of success is impressive.