Hibbert aiming to be part of USA Basketball
Pacers center Roy Hibbert wants to be part of the USA Basketball team and he said this week that international lawyers and his agent are in the process of trying to make that happen. Hibbert previously played a short stint with Team Jamaica after he was passed over and that has thus far made him ineligible.
“I wanted to play in the Olympics and then they invited some other guys from my draft class to be centers,” Hibbert explained. “I thought I could have been in that group. If I had gotten invited, I wouldn’t have played for Team Jamaica. You live and you learn. If I don’t play for Team USA ever again, I’ll enjoy my summers and bulk up like I did this summer.”
Hibbert is under the impression that Team USA has to make an inquiry to FIBA, the International Basketball Federation. He then has to be let go from Team Jamaica in order to join Team USA. Simply, it’s a lot of red tape, USA Basketball has to determine whether it’s worth the effort and Jamaica has to be understanding.
“There has been some dialogue, but right now international lawyers are taking care of that to see if I can get out of my Team Jamaica thing,” Hibbert said.
One item in Hibbert’s favor is that he has the same agent — David Falk — as Olympic Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Multiple attempts to reach Falk were unsuccessful.
Dwight Howard missed the 2012 Olympics because he needed back surgery. Tyson Chandler of the Knicks started all eight games at center and Anthony Davis, who was just 19 and hadn’t played in the NBA yet, was the only other true center on the roster. Hibbert agreed that the team could use a true center and he would love to be that guy.
“I hope that I’ll be able to do that,” he said. “Obviously Dwight will be the center. I know my role and [would] come off the bench, defend the basket, get rebounds and just find open shooters.
“Despite what people think, I am an American. My dad’s from Jamaica so I have dual citizenship.”
Paul George, who has traveled to Las Vegas the last two summers for mini-camp with the US National Team, is a favorite to make the team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain and will likely receive strong consideration for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.