College star Steindl pumped ahead of Boomers debut
St Mary's is proving a terrific college home for Australian basketballers and now Clint Steindl has benefited from his three years there by being named to make his Golden Star Boomers debut in the YouYi Games against China starting in Perth on Friday night.
The Saint Mary's Gaels continue to give Australian basketball hopefuls the opportunities to shine and develop their games and while one day the 22-year-old Steindl would like to play in the Boomers alongside a host of his college teammates, he's over the moon ahead of his debut.
Steindl has played three seasons now at St Mary's after growing up in Mackay, North Queensland, and had actually set himself a goal of making a Golden Star Boomers' camp.
With some good size at 6'7 and athleticism among his tools, Steindl shot tremendously from beyond the three-point line in the 2010/11 season ending up at over 42 per cent, but while he wanted to make a camp with the national squad, he never imagined he would be picked in the team.
However, head coach Brett Brown was impressed with Steindl all week and gave him the nod to be included in the 12-man Boomers squad to play China in Perth on Friday night and in Singapore on Sunday.
"Being a first timer coming to camp has been great and then I'm just more ecstatic than I can explain to be selected to play in the game. I'm pretty stoked about it," Steindl said.
"One of my goals was to try and make the Boomers camp at some stage and when I got the call up I was excited because it meant that I had reached one of my goals.
"Now that I've done that my next goal is to get into the actual team and get on the court with the guys, and hopefully that happens now this week. To play in an actual international game would be amazing.
"I will definitely be nervous with it being my first time out there, but definitely very excited as well because it's something I've always wanted to do."
The training camp all week has obviously been a grueling one for Steindl and all 15 other players that were part of it, but he enjoyed the chance to learn off veterans like Peter Crawford, David Barlow and Damian Martin, and coach Brown and his assistants Andrej Lemanis and Marty Clarke.
"Obviously it has been tough but this is the level that we've got to play at, and hold your body to. I've actually found it a lot of fun just learning off Brett, Marty and Andrej, and especially some of the older players like PC, Barlow and Damo. It has been a massive learning curve for me to see what it's all about and I've loved every minute of it," Steindl said.
"I'd say that this has been tougher on your body with the two sessions a day, and those at about two and-a-half hours each. College is more about one full practice a day, but you have your individual sessions as well. This one takes more of a toll on your body, but college definitely got me ready for a camp like this."
While Steindl was the only player still in college part of the camp in Perth this week, he was far from the youngest player there with 15-year-old Dante Exum doing well to hold his own. Steindl was impressed with what he saw from him.
"I was the second youngest here I think and I was that by about seven years, but Dante is going to be a good player," he said.
"He's got a lot of potential, he's a skilled guard and when he starts getting a bit older and bigger, he is sure going to be a hard player to stop."
In coming years plenty of spots in a potential Boomers' team can be made up of players to have come through St Mary's College, and that's definitely something Steindl hopes eventuates.
"Having teammates that are Australian in America helps out a lot when you are away from home," he said.
"We all hope that we can go from playing college together to sometime in the near future all of us being Boomers together. That would be awesome if we can do that."
As for his own future, Steindl wants to focus on finishing of his college career before looking into whether or not his professional career will take him into the NBL, to Europe or what it will bring for him.
"I have one more year left of college and then it's into the real world of trying to figure out what I'm doing next. I've still got another year to worry about and then once that's done I'll look into the future," Steindl said.