Australian F1 driver Oscar Piastri gets behind the Boomers

Australian F1 Driver Oscar Piastri will be finding time away from his debut year on the Formula One circuit to follow the Australian Boomers campaign during the FIBA Basketball World Cup

Australian F1 driver and basketball fan Oscar Piastri will be glued to the screen in coming weeks following the Australian Boomers FIBA World Cup campaign, as he travels to the Netherlands and then Italy as part of his debut year on the Formula One circuit.

The Boomers tip-off against Finland on Friday August 25, 6:00pm AEST

What position do you play?

I’ve always played basketball socially rather than competitively. I enjoyed it as a kid and it gave me a chance to play sport with my mates from school when I wasn’t racing. I’d probably be point guard because I’m pretty short for a basketball player.

What club/association did you play for growing up?

I grew up in Brighton, Melbourne so I played a little bit for a local team, Bentleigh Demons Basketball Club. I moved to the UK when I was 14, so I played a bit at school but then racing took over.

What would your jersey number be?

My jersey number originally was 23, had to go for MJ’s number of course, but only because we got given jerseys with numbers already on them. Now it would be 81 which is my number in F1 and has stuck with me since I was a little boy in karting. It’s pretty unique so I never usually have any issues claiming it.

What Boomer is your basketball game most like?

I’m not sure I’d say my game is similar in any way but I’m a big fan of Josh Giddey. He’s from Melbourne too and I’ve followed his progress with Oklahoma City Thunder. What he is achieving at his age is phenomenal and it’s clear he is going to have a big future. We’ve chatted a little and I’m looking forward to meeting him at some point soon.

Favorite current Boomer to watch?

We are lucky that it is such an exciting team with great players like Josh Giddey, Patty Mills, Josh Green, Jock Landale, Joe Ingles and more. I’d probably say Josh is the one that I follow closest because we are a similar age but I’m full of admiration for guys like Patty Mills who I have grown up watching and has represented the Boomers with such distinction.

Favorite Australian Basketballer of all time? 

Tricky one but I’d probably go with Luc Longley. He was a bit before my time but he played for the Bulls with MJ and I have watched quite a bit about that team. He was also the first Australian to play in the NBA and he paved the way for others to follow.

Who do you follow in the NBA/NBL and what current Boomer would you love to add to the roster if you could?

I’m a fan of the LA Lakers because LeBron James is one of my favourite-ever sportsmen. His story and his ability with the ball is special. I follow their scores at a distance which is easier said than done with all the different time zones I am on with my racing. Also they were quite successful with Kobe Bryant when I first started watching the NBA. I also keep an eye out for all the Aussies in the NBA and how they are getting on.

Starting 5 prediction for the FIBA World Cup?

I’d probably say Josh Giddey, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Josh Green and Duop Reath although we’ve got good strength in depth so whatever 5 we start with, I’ll be confident in.

Which country do you see as being Australia’s biggest challenge? 

I think the USA are going to be strong, for certain and will get far. Elsewhere, I look at teams like France, Canada, Spain and Serbia as dangerous.

You can pick one player from another country to put in the Boomers squad, who you taking? 

I like watching Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic too so I think they would be good additions to the Boomers squad.

Which current Boomer do you think would make the best F1 driver?

That’s a hard one because Formula One drivers tend not to be too tall because the cockpit of the car is a lot smaller than people think. I’m going to go with Patty Mills because of his speed and agility.

Name your starting 5 from the F1 circuit (you must be included) and what would playing positions be?

My starting 5 would be: Piastri, Norris, Russell, Sargeant and Albon. I’ve gone for Lando because he’s my teammate and we get on well and then George, Logan and Alex because they add a bit more height.

Where will you be watching the FIBA World Cup from?

While the first round group phase is going on, I’ll be over in Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix and then while the second group phase is happening, I’ll be in Monza for the Italian Grand Prix but I’ll be keeping an eye on all the scores.

Final message for the team before before their first round in Japan?

Wish all the guys the very best of luck. Hope it is a successful tournament and I’ll be cheering you on from afar.

Hope to meet you all soon!


Every Boomers game, every Team USA game and all quarter finals, semi-finals, third place game and the FIBA World Cup Final will be made available LIVE and FREE on ESPN via Kayo Freebies - which does not require a subscription. 
Fans in Australia can access Kayo Freebies and support the Boomers by watching ESPN’s coverage of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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