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Dorsey: ''I dream of winning titles with Greece and sharing these moments with fans, teammates and family''
ATLANTA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Tyler Dorsey is one of the finest young talents ever to don the Greece jersey, yet he's in no hurry to be the main man for the national team.
There are star players and leaders in the side that has already punched its ticket to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
A spark in the Greek team that hosted the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2015 in Crete and finished fourth, Dorsey made his senior team bow in the last round of the European Qualifiers, though he spent most of the time watching from the bench.
While the 6ft 5in (1.96m) guard was logging just several minutes in each game, veterans Ioannis Bourousis and Nick Calathes pulled the strings in a 70-63 win at Serbia and then Calathes inspired the team in an 86-85 victory at Georgia.
The Greeks improved to 8-0 in the Qualifiers and sealed a place in the 32-team Word Cup in China.
"I learned a lot and the most important thing was to win, so if I played a lot or not didn't matter to be honest," he said. "I just wanted to help the guys, wear the national team jersey and keep learning because I know that we have a lot of talented players."
"NICK (CALATHES) HAS SUCH A HUGE BASKETBALL IQ, HE'S A GREAT FLOOR GENERAL AND I'M TRYING TO READ, LEARN AND WATCH EVERYTHING HE DOES."
"I am still very young and spending time with guys such as Ioannis Bourousis, Nick Calathes and all the other players is priceless. You learn so much from them, and they know so much about the game that you learn a lot by watching them play and practice.
"I really enjoy the process, and I feel I can be part of this team for a long time. I am only 22 years old so I have still plenty of things to learn."
Dorsey is a second year player in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks but has a genuine appreciation for the game in Europe. He understands that Bourousis has been a great player on the old continent for a long time and that Calathes, who has played some in the NBA, has excelled in Russia and Greece during his career.
What did Dorsey take from his time from Calathes?
"Oh man, so much!" he said. "Nick has such a huge basketball IQ, he's a great floor general and I'm trying to read, learn and watch everything he does. He has a lot of experience and he is a natural leader, so you have to learn and improve playing with him.
"Nick has had such a great career and I'm truly inspired by his journey because he also grew up in America and played so many years there. He is one of the linchpins of the national team and a guy that you want on your team no matter what."
Dorsey is hopeful of being part of the team bound for China 2019, though competition for spots on the roster will be intense.
"It's a goal for next summer that is for sure," he said. "I love to play for the national team and I want to help Greece reach a very high level. We're all talking about it and we were so happy to have reached the qualification this summer."
"I'M EXCITED FOR NEXT SUMMER AND I'M GOING TO KEEP WORKING HARD TO TRY TO MAKE THE TEAM THAT WILL COMPETE AT CHINA 2019."
And Greece want to make an impact in the tournament, too.
"We don’t want to go to China just to be there," he said. "We want to show the world that Greece is among the best teams in the world. The team is going to be very motivated and playing against the best players and teams in the world is such a unique experience to take part in.
"We know we will have the whole country behind us and we want to make all the Greeks proud of their national team. I'm excited for next summer and I'm going to keep working hard to try to make the team that will compete at China 2019."
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Dorsey says the aim at the first-ever 32-team World Cup will be to reach the podium.
"I dream of winning medals and titles with the Greek jersey on and sharing these moments with the fans, my teammates and my family," he said.
If he does go to China, it will be a perfect fit with what Dorsey loves to do: whenever he's not playing basketball games, he loves to travel.
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"I try to travel a bit during the off season and spend time with my family," he said, when asked what he likes to do other than playing basketball. "I'm close to my family and I try to see them and spend time with them. I went to Paris this summer for example, and it was a very nice trip, a great experience.
"My job allows me to discover the world and to travel, so I'm trying to make the best out of my off season."