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USA Basketball wants Roy Hibbert, but probably can’t have him

Jul 31, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT

Pacers' Hibbert looks down court during Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference Final basketball playoff series against the Heat in Indianapolis Reuters

When USA Basketball held its four-day mini-camp in Las Vegas last week, Roy Hibbert was a noticeable omission from the roster.

There’s a reason, of course, and it has nothing to do with Hibbert’s level of talent or ability to commit to the program. The fact that he’s played for another country in the past, even at a junior level, is likely to prevent him from joining Team USA for the 2016 Olympics, or at any point in the future.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Vegas leftover morsel: USA Basketball still covets Roy Hibbert but all FIBA signals lead USAB to believe @Hoya2aPacer locked into Jamaica

Much as both sides want to find workaround, Hibbert HAS played for Jamaica senior NT. FIBA rules make switch to Team USA near impossible

It’s an unfortunate situation for the USA squad, whose only true weakness is in the front court positions.

Last week’s mini-camp had guys like Ryan AndersonAndre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Kenneth Faried, Larry Sanders, and even Tyler Zeller working out for Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski in hopes that one of them would show something that would make adding them to the roster a necessity.

Anthony Davis would appear to be a lock to make the team, and DeMarcus Cousins would too, at least from a talent perspective — but attitude, work ethic, and team chemistry are all areas where Cousins has been historically deficient.

No one is going to shed a tear for USA Basketball here, but it’s clear that the team could certainly use a player of Hibbert’s talents.

  1. blakegriffin32 - Jul 31, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Deandre was there too.

  2. chichi78 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    I could easily see Drummond making the team. Cousins and even a guy like Griffin are far from sure things.

  3. aqzi - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Speaks to Hibbert’s fast ascent to an elite basketball player. I’m sure when he chose to play for Jamaica he thought being considered for Team USA was a long-shot. Good on him for becoming the great player he is today.

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