READ MORE - Matthew Dellavedova named on Tokyo Boomers squad
FORMER Bendigo Braves' junior basketballer Matthew Dellavedova now has an Olympic medal to go alongside his NBA championship ring.
Maryborough's Dellavedova was part of the Australian team that won the Boomers' first Olympic medal on Saturday night.
The Boomers beat Luka Doncic's Slovenia 107-93 in the bronze medal game in Tokyo on a historic night for Australian basketball.
The Boomers had previously lost four Olympic bronze medal games, including in 2016 when Dellavedova was a member of the team beaten by Spain by one point.
Replaced in the starting line-up by Matisse Thybulle, gritty guard Dellavedova played 2:32 against Slovenia, finishing with two rebounds and two assists to round out his third Olympics campaign following London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
Among Saturday night's elated fans of Australian basketball after finally securing that elusive first Olympic medal were Dellavedova's parents, Mark and Leanne.
"Leanne and I, along with all our family, are all extremely proud of Matthew and what the Boomers have achieved," Mark said.
The Boomers were led by an inspired performance from captain Patty Mills, who produced a game for the ages with 42 points, nine assists and three rebounds.
"We've been waiting for this moment for a long time and it's taken a lot of experience, a lot of ups, a lot of downs for us to get over the hump," Mills said.
"It's our culture at the end of the day, the Australian culture, our Aussie spirit, the boys being able to hang together and realise what it means to be able to represent your country, for it to come pouring out in moments like this."
Boomers coach Brian Goorjian described the bronze medal victory as "unbelievably special."
The Boomers ended their Olympic tournament with a 4-1 record, with their only loss their 97-78 semi-final defeat to the USA.
The USA went on to win the gold medal with an 87-82 victory over France on Saturday afternoon.
Dellavedova - who won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 - started his basketball career at junior level with the Maryborough Blazers and Bendigo Braves.
"I dare say all of Maryborough would have been watching the game," Maryborough Basketball Association president Sally Neill said on Sunday.
"To think that Matthew started from a little town like Maryborough and now has an Olympic bronze medal and an NBA championship, plus the fact he is so humble, is just great for the town and great for basketball.
"What Matthew has gone on to achieve with his basketball is really inspiring."
Dellavedova, 30, has carved out an eight-season NBA career with the Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks and last month signed a three-year deal with Melbourne United in the NBL.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.