Good news for the Jamaican National team: Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Samardo Samuels has agreed to represent them in the upcoming Centrobasket Men’s Championship tournament to be held this June in Puerto Rico. Bad news for the Jamaican National team: Samuels is the headlining act, per The Jamaican Observer, as Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert — captain of the 2010 team — has requested release so that he could try out for United States team.
Other NBA players to play for Team Jamaica include Patrick Ewing Jnr, former player for the New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets player, along with Ryan Reid of the Oklahoma Thunder and Jerome Jordan of the New York Knicks.
The Centrobasket Championship basketball tournament is organised by FIBA through FIBA Americas, with participating national teams of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Jamaica were drawn in Group B and will play Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the US Virgin Islands. The 2012 Centrobasket qualifies four teams for the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
Samuels, 23, is coming off of his second season with the Cavaliers, averaging 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. He admittedly showed up to training camp out of shape and had ocassional bouts with inconsistency. Samuels will look to help provide depth to the Cavs’ frontcourt in 2012-13. No word on if Samuels will also represent Jamaica in the 2014 bobsled events in Sochi.
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(h/t to Brendan Bowers)