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Saint Mary's hoops sending two players to the Olympics

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Dellavedova isn't expected to get a load of playing time, but his inclusion is a boon for Saint Mary's. (US Presswire)

Two of the best players in the history of Saint Mary's basketball are giving their allegience to their home country this summer and playing for Australia in the Olympics.

One of them, former SMC star guard Patty Mills, is doing it for the second time.

The announcement was made official Friday, as Mills and current Gaels senior Matthew Dellavedova will wear Aussie threads in London in ... wow, just over a month now. (The Olympics begins July 27.) Dellavedova was the 2012 West Coast Conference Player of the Year.

The Australian national team, known as the Boomers (I like that; I guess it's another name for a Kangaroo in the Outback), have never medaled at the Olympics. In '08, they finished seventh. Dellavedova -- or Delly for short, and for fun, especially when you use a miserable Australian accent as I'm doing in my head as I write this -- will be the only college player on this year's squad. It's also looking like no other active college player will play in the XXX Olympiad. He averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 assists last season.

Mills left Saint Mary's after the 2009 season and currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs.

"Both Delly and Patty have proven themselves to be among the top players in Australia and it is quite an honor to represent their country in the Olympic Games," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said in a statement. "In 2008, Patty showed how invaluable the experience of playing in the Olympics can be. Hopefully, Delly can have a similar experience, play well against the world's elite players and return to Saint Mary's this fall for a great senior year."

Australia's first game comes against Brazil on July 29.

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