Ben Simmons NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 24: Ben Simmons #25 of the LSU Tigers looks on against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Barclays Center on November 24, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Ben Simmons may represent Australia on the world’s biggest stage – the 2016 Summer Olympics from Rio de Janeiro.

The LSU forward was one of the 26 players named to the extended Australian men’s basketball squad for the Rio Olympics. Simmons joins seven NBA players, including Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, and Dante Exum, competing for a spot on the final roster.

The 19-year-old is likely to make the team, as he’s continued to put up gaudy numbers with LSU, despite the team underperforming sitting tied for third in the Southeastern conference with an 11-7 record. Simmons has still excelled, averaging nearly 20 points per game, 11.9 rebounds, and 5 assists while shooting 56 percent from the field as a freshman. He’s close to being a lock for the first overall pick in June’s NBA draft.

Simmons’ Australian teammate Bogut said he’s working harder than ever to improve weaknesses in his game, via ABC News Australia.

“He’s embracing that and I know he’s in the gym even more than he was before with all this, with them nitpicking his game,” Bogut told US writer Bill Simmons when asked if he was concerned about Simmons lacking an outside jump shot.”

“He’ll continue to work hard and he probably will be the best Australian player to play in the NBA.”

Assuming he makes the final 12 player roster, Simmons will be playing for a good Australian National Team. The country’s previous highest finish in basketball at the Olympic level is 4th place, and with Bogut, Simmons, and Mills making up the core of the team, the country has a legitimate medal shot.

Being so young, Simmons is about to become the face of his country’s basketball program for years to come and, as Bogut mentions, has the chance to become the best Australian basketball player ever. No pressure. Simmons would be following a path set by Anthony Davis four years ago after the former Kentucky forward was taken first overall by the New Orleans Hornets in the June NBA Draft before winning gold with the US Men’s National Team in the 2012 London Olympics.

[ABC News Australia]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.