It was pointed out yesterday that Gorgui Dieng is back with the Senegalese National Team as they prepare for AfroBasket 2015, which serves as the continental championship as well as the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympics. AfroBasket starts on August 19th, with Senegal in Group B (with defending champ Angola, Mozambique, and Morocco). Senegal opens play on the 20th against Morocco.
Senegal beat Angola in a warm up game yesterday, and Dieng was the dominant force, finishing with 32 and 10.
It's not clear to me if there is going to be a way to watch these games from the U.S., but if I can figure it out, I'll let you know.
Meanwhile, a reminder that the always entertaining Eurobasket tournament starts on September 5th. We'll have more on this closer to the start date, but this is probably the best international basketball tournament in the world--super competitive and without the U.S. to cast it's shadow over everything.
Of course it loses a bit of luster for Wolves fans without Ricky Rubio playing (thank the gods), but Nemanja Bjelica will be a key factor for Serbia as he was in their runner-up performance at last year's World Championships.
The FIBA Americas (can we just call it AmeriBasket?) starts August 31st in Mexico City. This is the qualifying tournament for the Olympics, but the U.S. is not sending a team, having already qualified thanks to last year's World Championship victory. This one holds some interest for Wolves fans with the Canadian team likely to feature both Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns is on the list for the Dominican Republic, now coached by Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson, but although I haven't been able to get an absolutely definitive answer, I seriously doubt he'll participate. Update when I get one.
This has been your Sunday morning international basketball update. Have a good day.