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Point guard has point to prove

Matthew Dellavedova, right.

Matthew Dellavedova, right. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

When his name wasn't read out on NBA draft day Matthew Dellavedova had two options - sulk or prove people wrong.

And the Australian Boomers point guard is well on the way to achieving the latter after being invited to preseason training with the Cleveland Cavaliers in October.

He is confident he can secure the third point-guard spot for LeBron James' former team using his draft disappointment as motivation.

Far from dragging his feet, the 22-year-old was on the courts just hours later, determined to put egg on his doubters' faces. He impressed the Cavaliers with strong displays in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, a fitting scene for the biggest gamble of his career.

In a strong sign for his hopes, Dellavedova will spent two weeks working out with the Cleveland roster before the official start of preseason in October.

He scored 11 points as starting shooting guard in Australia's 70-59 Oceania Championship game one win over New Zealand in Auckland on Wednesday.

''I had about 15 NBA workouts and was pretty disappointed I didn't get drafted but I talked to my agent what the plan would be and I got some shots up that night,'' Dellavedova said. ''I definitely wanted to prove a point at Summer League against the guys who were drafted in my position and show what I can do against them.''

Like Boomers teammate Patrick Mills, Dellavedova cut his teeth at college level for St Mary's, where he is the all-time leader for games, scoring, assists and free-throw percentage.

However, he was overlooked by NBA scouts due to concerns he would struggle to defend the league's fleet-footed guards.

Should he join Cleveland, he would be third-string point guard behind superstar Kyrie Irving and hot young prospect Dion Waiters.

''Kyrie's an unbelievable player. To possibly get the opportunity to go against him at practice every day, you can only get better,'' Dellavedova said.

''He didn't play Summer League but he was there a couple of days before working out.

''The way he can move with the ball is pretty impressive.''

For now, Dellavedova's focus is performing for Australia against New Zealand, and ensuring the Boomers have the best possible seeding for next year's World Cup in Spain.

  • SUNDAY: Oceania Championship: Australia v New Zealand at AIS Arena (women 2pm, men 4.30pm). Tickets: Available from Ticketek. TV time: Live on ABC 1.

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