He's played in some of the most iconic basketball arenas in the world, but Patty Mills is just as excited at the prospect of playing at ''the Palace'' for the first time.
The home of the Canberra Cannons during their NBL championship-winning heyday will come to life when the Australian Boomers take on New Zealand as part of an international double-header next month.
Mills confirmed on Friday he'll return to his home town for the world championship oceania qualifier series, with the second leg at the AIS Arena on August 18. The first leg will be in Auckland four days earlier.
''Well & truly back in the grind of things & couldn't be more excited to play for Australia in August … Especially in my home town Canberra!,'' Mills tweeted on Friday.
''In NZ on the 14th & at AIS Arena in Canberra on the 18th.
''Surprisingly, this will be my first game ever playing at 'The Palace'. I'm pumped!''
In NZ on the 14th & at AIS Arena in Canberra on the 18th. Surprisingly, this will be my first game ever playing at 'The Palace'. I'm pumped! — Patrick Mills (@Patty_Mills) July 19, 2013
The 24-year-old San Antonio Spurs guard has been sidelined since requiring surgery to remove an abscess from between his fourth and fifth toes.
Mills spearheaded the Boomers team at last year's London Olympics, finishing as the leading scorer for the entire tournament.
Next on the list will be to secure the services of Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut, while fellow big man, and Mills' Spurs teammate Aron Baynes, will be another coach Andrej Lemanis would want.
The Boomers will share top billing with the Australian Opals, who need to beat the Kiwis to book a berth at next year's world titles.
Superstar Lauren Jackson is a strong chance to return to the Opals after impressing during a recent camp at the AIS.
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