Turns out there is a little-known FIBA bylaw that allows for Hibbert, through USA Basketball, to apply for permission to play for Team USA after appearing in one game for Jamaica in 2010 … despite the fact that it’s been drilled into us all for years that players who represent one country at senior level internationally do so knowing they are essentially ineligible to switch allegiances and play for another country later. The little-known rule states that a player who has represented one country after the age of 17 may “exceptionally request” that FIBA allow him to play for another country’s national team if that national team is “of the player’s country of origin” and if the request is deemed to be “in the interest of the development of basketball in that country.”
While Hibbert satisfies half of those requirements, having been born a New Yorker, I’m told USAB’s pessimism stems from the fact that it would be a gargantuan stretch to convince FIBA that adding the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star center to Mike Krzyzewski’s roster would have even a sliver of impact on the state of the game in this country.
07 Sep 13
Marc Stein: Vegas leftover morsel: USA Basketball still covets Roy Hibbert but all FIBA signals lead USAB to believe @Hoya2aPacer locked into Jamaica. Much as both sides want to find workaround, Hibbert HAS played for Jamaica senior NT. FIBA rules make switch to Team USA near impossible
Ajani Williams, president of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), said his administration will begin talks with a number National Basketball Association (NBA) players who have expressed interest in representing Jamaica at this year’s FIBA World Championship final-round qualifiers at the end of the month. Williams said his organisation will be holding talks with point guard Ben Gordon of Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers centre Roy Hibbert and André Drummond of Detroit Pistons. “We are going to make our best effort to get these players and then we will see how well things pan out,” said Williams.