HoopsHype Dominican Republic rumors

September 5, 2011 Updates
August 19, 2011 Updates
July 28, 2011 Updates

With the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship right around the corner, John Calipari wants to make sure that his team is ready to face elite competition. Calipari is coaching the Dominican Republic national team and will call upon some familiar faces to prepare his squad for the tournament, which begins on August 30. On August 15, Calipari's two teams will collide at Rupp Arena, according to tweets from the head coach. Team Dominican Republic will face Team Kentucky, which will be made up of eight of the program's former stars. Calipari will coach the national team while Sam Bowie and Joe B. Hall will lead the Kentucky alum. Team Dominican Republic will include NBA players Al Horford, Charlie Villanueva and Francisco Garcia. Team Kentucky will include John Wall, Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans. HoopsWorld

July 19, 2011 Updates

Like many other NBA players before, Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva says he will also contemplate the possibility of playing abroad. But with him, it will not be China or Europe. “I’m actually leaning towards likely playing in Dominican Republic, my home country,” Villanueva texted when asked about overseas options. “If I play there in Dominican Republic, it won’t be for the pay, but it will be for my people. They are passionate about the game of basketball. “One hundred percent, basketball is my passion. If the lockout continues, it won’t stop me from doing what I love to do. Overseas is a possibility for sure.” HoopsHype

Villanueva, the son of Dominican inmigrants, played for the National Team in 2009 and 2010, leading the squad in scoring both times. Although the country is deep in talent, the domestic league, which should come to an end in late September, features little star power. The money is very not good and playing conditions can be difficult. HoopsHype

July 17, 2011 Updates
May 6, 2011 Updates

Just an update to let you know that I have formally accepted the head coaching position with the Dominican Republic’s national team. I am so excited to begin working with Southgate Sports, which operates all aspects of the team, as we prepare for FIBA’s upcoming Tournament of the Americas. I have already spoken with several of the Dominican players in the NBA and Southgate will have more about those players’ participation in the coming weeks. We will hold a mini-camp here, in Lexington, at the beginning of August with some of the Dominican Republic’s emerging young stars, most of whom are already playing American college basketball, including our own Eloy Vargas. The mini-camp will precede the team’s official training camp which will include the veterans. Official Site of John Calipari

April 29, 2011 Updates

Kentucky coach John Calipari would be “crazy” to coach the Dominican Republic National Team this summer because they “don’t have any money and have a horrible reputation in the region,” a well-connected Caribbean source told SNY.tv. “They don’t have a clue,” the source said of the Dominican Federation. “They screwed up the FIBA event in the DR last summer. Players were slipping all over the floor as they hosted an event in an arena with no air conditioning. Roy Hibbert and other NBA players were required to stop playing.” ZagsBlog.com

April 27, 2011 Updates

Kentucky coach John Calipari is mulling a chance to coach the Dominican Republic national team. Calipari posted on his website Tuesday that he has been approached by Dominican officials about taking over the team in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics. "My question to the Dominican Basketball Federation was, why are you calling me?'' Calipari posted. "Their response was, they liked what we are doing in China, including coaching their coaches and being involved in promoting grassroots basketball.'' SI.com

April 16, 2011 Updates

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