Kristaps Porzingis made it official: he will play for Latvia at the upcoming Eurobasket.
LIEPAJA, April 24 (LETA) - Latvian super-star Kristaps Porzingis, who plays for the NBA's New York Knicks, announced today that he will suit up for Latvia at this year's European Men's Basketball Championships (EuroBasket 2017), the player himself said at a press conference in his native Liepaja (southwestern Latvia) today.
This will be Porzingis' debut on the senior men's national team.
''This was not a difficult decision. I know I have to work on my game this summer, and I will do this with the national team in preparation for EuroBasket,'' Porzingis said. ''The national team will help me get better, and I know the fans are waiting for my debut.''
Porzingis said that he has an NBA commitment in Africa this summer, but that he plans to concentrate fully on the national team.
The last time Porzingis played on the national team was in 2013, when he helped the U-18 squad finish in fourth place at the European U-18 Men's Basketball Championships.
Porzingis concluded his second season with the Knicks several weeks ago, averaging 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season.
The Latvian squad will gather for the first time to begin training camp on July 17.
EuroBasket 2017 will take place from August 31 to September 17 in four cities - Istanbul (Turkey), Helsinki (Finland), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Cluj Napoca (Romania).
Latvia will play in Group D in Istanbul against the hosts, Serbia, Russia, Belgium and Great Britain.
Latvia will open the tournament on September 1 against Serbia.
The top four teams in the group will advance to the tournament's knock-out phase.