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Neither US team has a household name

The US team has only one spot left for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, but coach Steve Kerr might find it strange that none of his Golden State players is included. Erik Spoelstra, the assistant coach for the Miami Heat, will also be without anyone from the team. Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, and Phoenix Suns players are absent as well.

All the stars have disappeared, where have they gone? Aside from Curry, Thompson and Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Tatum, Brown, George, Lillard, DeRozan and Mitchell aren’t in the mix. Rather than household names, the US is putting its faith in non-household names.

Gregg Popovich led the US team to a disappointing seventh place at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Kemba Walker, Brown, Tatum, Derrick White, Mitchell, Joe Harris, Marcus Smart, Mason Plumlee, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Marcus Smart were the players. Despite winning the knockout quarterfinals 89-79 over France and losing to Serbia 94-89, the Americans ended up far from the podium.

Kerr intends assemble a team of role players rather than superstars this time around. It is made up of 11 players: 6-4 Anthony Edwards, 21, 6-5 Austin Reaves, 25, 6-5 Tyrese Haliburton, 23, 6-6 Mikel Bridges, 26, 6-11 Bobby Portis, 28, 6-2 Jalen Brunson, 26, 6-10 Jaren Jackson Jr., 23, 7-0 Walker Kessler, 21, 6-8 Cam Johnson, 27, 6-8 Brandon Ingram, 26 and 6-10 Paolo Banchero. Jackson, Haliburton, and Edwards were the only players to play in last season’s NBA All-Star Game.

Banchero and Reaves would have played for other countries if they weren’t chosen to represent the US. He was granted a German passport last year because his grandmother is German and he expressed interest in playing for the country. In addition to receiving his Italian passport three years ago, Banchero would’ve played for Italy if he weren’t given the opportunity to play for the United States.

International competitions have become more globalized, giving athletes like Reaves and Banchero the option to choose where they want to represent their country.

Athletes without ethnic ties can also play for countries through naturalization. Many Filipino athletes now represent other countries in place of their native colors, such as Wesley So, Yuka Saso, and Maxine Esteban. However, there are many ways to do it. Despite being a Canadian swimmer, Kayla Sanchez competed for the Philippines in swimming.

With a 28-year-old age, Portis is the oldest player on the US roster. None of the participants are over 30 years old. The French squad, on the other hand, has six players who are at least 30 years old. Despite his fame, Victor Wembamyama doesn’t appear on the roster, preferring to train in the US for his NBA debut in the summer.

Rather than representing themselves in professional leagues, athletes should appreciate the value of representing their country at international competitions. With two second-round picks and five first-round picks, Les Bleus have the most NBA draft picks.

Sylvain Francisco is 6-2, 25 Nando de Colo is 6-5, 36, Frank Ntilikina is 6-4, Elie Okobo is 6-3, Evan Fournier is 6-6, and Yakuba Ouattara is 6-3, 31. 6-5 Terry Tarpey is 27, Nicolas Batum is 34, 6-7 Guerschon Yabusele is 27, Mathias Lessort is 27, 7-2 Moustapha Fall, 31 and Rudy Gobert is 31. He is of Angolan descent and was born in Florida.

The Rwanadan parents of Ntilikina born him in Belgium. Born in Ghana, Ouattara grew up in Burkina Faso. The father of Okobo comes from the same country where Yabusele’s parents come from. Tarpey’s father played in the French league as an American import. A Senegalese by descent, Fall was born in the United States. Naturalized and local players are both qualified to represent France, but it’s unclear which ones are naturalized.

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