Jamaica Rumors

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.”
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.
Sittingbourne basketball star Ryan Richards is at the eye of an Olympic storm after defecting from the Great Britain set-up to join Jamaica ahead of the London 2012 Games. The former Medway Park Crusaders star – who was drafted by NBA giants the San Antonio Spurs in 2010 – ended the season playing in the Georgian SuperLeague in a bid to prove his fitness and form before the Olympics. However the 6ft 11inc forward has decided to swap TeamGB for the nation of his father’s birth after winning seven senior caps last year. The 21-year-old confirmed to the KM Group: “I’m not involved with GB anymore,” but question marks remain about his eligibility under FIBA rules having represented Britain at senior level as well as under-20s.
After Howard and Portland big man LaMarcus Aldridge were knocked out of Olympic consideration due to recent injuries, there were some feelers from USA Basketball about Hibbert possibly being named to the Olympic pool. But Hibbert said he was unsuccessful in dealings with FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, to be allowed to switch countries and now considers it a dead issue. “They had a rule that we didn’t know about when I played with Team Jamaica that I can’t play for Team USA again,” Hibbert said. “We had international lawyers looking at it and they say it’s very doubtful… If I knew that two years ago, I wouldn’t have played for Team Jamaica, but whoever thought Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge would be hurt at my position?”
Hibbert has requested that the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA) release him so he may try out for the United States basketball team. His agent, David Faulk, also emailed JaBA asking for an immediate release. However, according to JaBA president Ajani Williams, the association has not yet honoured the request due to FIBA processes and statutes governing such a transfer among other considerations. Hibbert is eligible to play for Jamaica because his father was originally from Jamaica. On February 9, 2012, Hibbert was selected to his first All-Star game as a reserve for the Eastern Conference.