Kai Jones, Deandre Ayton and Buddy Hield.
#By TENAJH SWEETING
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#EUGENE Horton, president of the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF), along with many Bahamians, have high expectations for the stacked 15-man national team.
#Team Bahamas released the roster featuring National Basketball Association (NBA) professional players Kai Jones, Chavano ‘Buddy’ Hield and Deandre Ayton this past Monday.
#The team will compete in the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Pre-Olympic Qualifier in Santiago de Estero, Argentina, August 14-20.
#The tournament will determine which teams make a final push to solidify their spots at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, all set for July 26 to August 11.
#Horton and other officials are confident in one of the best teams fielded by The Bahamas.
#“We are expecting to continue the journey we started a few years ago and, with this team being one of the best assembled, we expect to advance,” Horton said.
#Team Bahamas will compete against Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands in Group A.
#The Bahamas will kickoff the basketball action against Cuba on Monday, August 14.
#The number 56 ranked team will face an uphill battle as the Group A teams will all be hungry for a win to join the 19 FIBA Basketball World Cup teams.
#The teams will then compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments next year from July 2-7.
#The Bahamas will also field Jaraun ‘Kino’ Burrows, Domnick Bridgewater, Garvin Clarke, Kadeem Coleby, Rashad Davis, Sammy Hunter, Danrad Knowles, Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, Willis Mackey Jr, Franco Miller, Travis Munnings, Kentwan Smith, David Nesbitt, AJ Storr and Mychel Thompson.
#With the talent pool being very vast for the team, the president is optimistic about their chances.
#“I am very happy, we are confident that once we were able to get to this stage, the NBA and other professional players along with the coaching staff would make themselves available, invest their time, and make The Bahamas proud,” Horton said.
#One notable name missing from the roster is Eric Gordon, who was initially included in the list of NBA players to play for The Bahamas but there are some ongoing complications.
#“We are still hopeful that Mr Gordon will be available to represent Team Bahamas.
#“But some administrative details need to be worked out with USA Basketball,” the president added.
#The team will get warmed up at training camp in Puerto Rico from August 3-10 where they will play in two exhibition games against the University of Kansas.
#Afterwards, they will head to Argentina to prepare for Pool A competition.
#The Bahamas will face off against one of the top teams, Argentina, on August 16 followed by Panama on August 17.