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Great week on the grand (NBA) stage


JONAH Bolden, son of NBL great Bruce Bolden, has won his NBA contract, Liz Cambage has set another WNBA record, Sandy Brondello is coaching in the All Star Game ... Aussie basketball is looking good on those grandest of stages.

Bolden, selected by the Philadelphia 76ers at #36 in last year's draft before spending a year of seasoning at Maccabi Tel Aviv, has secured a four-year $7million deal to join NBA Rookie of the Year and Aussie pal Ben Simmons at the Sixers.

Bolden's father and Simmons' father Dave were NBL imports and long-time opponents before being teammates at Sydney Kings in 1998.

The signing also is historic for Australia as its gives us 10 players - double figures - for the first time in the NBA, with Bolden joining Simmons, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Thon Maker, Ryan Broekhoff and Mangok Mathiang.

Bolden, 22 and a 208cm forward, averaged 6.5 points and 6.0 rebounds during the 2018 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

BOLDEN BEAUTIFUL: Bruce and Jonah Bolden, the latter our latest NBA recruit.

Roll in Andrew Bogut, and the Boomers may only have one roster spot left for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and/or 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Simmons, who turned 22 yesterday, received a surprise birthday bonus with Bolden's signature, giving more Australian NBA fans reason to jump aboard the exciting young 76ers' bandwagon.

Already coaching Philadelphia is Brett Brown, an NBL championship-winning coach at North Melbourne Giants and Australia's 2012 London Olympics coach of the Boomers.

While it rapidly has gone from "Go Spurs" to "Go Jazz" and now "Go Sixers", it's been all "Go Liz" in the WNBA.

Cambage’s Dallas Wings beat Elena Della Donne’s Washington Mystics 90-81 with the dual-Opals Olympic centre pacing the win with 35 points and 17 boards.

In doing so, she set a new WNBA record for points scored in consecutive games with 88.

The previous record was 80 by Minnesota’s Maya Moore four years ago.  Cambage also became the first player with back-to-back 30-point, 10-rebound games since Moore in 2014.

Earlier this week, Cambage delivered a WNBA record 53-point game, with 10 boards. She concluded the week with a 23-point game in a 99-114 loss to Chicago Sky yesterday.

Meanwhile Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Opals coach Brondello (below), who has the Australian team's reins for the FIBA Worlds this year and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is a WNBA All Star Game head coach for the second time.

The 2014 WNBA Coach of the Year with Phoenix Mercury, she steered the Western Conference past the Eastern Conference 117-112 in the 2015 All Star Game in Connecticut.

A star guard in her own right, Brondello's five-year WNBA playing career included All Star selection in 1999, making her the only former WNBA All Star to serve as a head coach in the All-Star Game.

The All Star Game is next Saturday at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Let's be proud now. Our people are killing it in the States.

Jul 21

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.