Powerful centre Tom Jervis has replaced Perth Wildcats championship-winning teammate Matt Knight in the Australian Boomers squad for the upcoming four-game home-and-away series against China.
Knight was the third NBL player to withdraw from the Boomers squad when he pulled out due to family reasons on Monday.
Chris Goulding, who is pursuing his NBA dream, and Damian Martin (Achilles injury) were replaced by Ben Madgen and Todd Blanchfield last week.
Jervis, 27, has had a remarkable rise to prominence over the past six months and was named NBL rookie of the year for the 2013-14 season.
He was thrilled to be called up by Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis.
“It’s obviously unfortunate that Matty (Knight) has to sit this one out but I’m very happy that I’ve got the opportunity to step up and give it a crack,” Jervis said.
“It’s something you always dream of, to get the opportunity to go to a camp where you might end up representing your country.
“It’s a great feeling and obviously it’s something that you work hard for. When you get the opportunity, you want to grab it with both hands.”
The Boomers will host the first two games of the series at Challenge Stadium next week (May 29 and 31) before the final two games are played China.
Lemanis has given Jervis tapes to watch in order to familiarise himself with the Boomers’ offensive and defensive systems ahead of the camp, which begins on Friday at the WA Basketball Centre.
Players in this month’s second-string squad are vying for a handful of places in the FIBA World Cup squad later this year and will be looking to put their best feet forward.
“There’s obviously some great players still to come back in so for myself it’s just about getting the most out of it that I possibly can and giving it my all,” Jervis said.
“If it works out that when then it’s fantastic and if it doesn’t then it’s obviously still a big stepping stone for myself and moving forward in my improvements.”
Jervis is a free agent after completing his one-year deal with the Wildcats last month and spent time in Melbourne last week to discuss a possible future with the Tigers, who have since been rebranded as Melbourne United.
Jervis was guarded when asked where he might end up in the NBL next season, but said he was looking do what was best for his career and family.
“It was a good trip just to check it out and see how everything’s going,” Jervis said.
“It’s my first time going through the process so I’m just making sure I don’t leave any stone unturned.
“It’s all still in the works with a lot of things so it’s just getting it all on the table so I can have a look at things and move forward from there.”