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Dorsey wants to be part of Greece team at China 2019
ATLANTA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers) - Tyler Dorsey followed Greece play at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 and their first two wins in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers. And the Atlanta Hawks shooting guard is anxiously looking forward to playing for Hellas and be part of the team in China 2019.
The 21-year-old Dorsey was nominated for Greece's training camp for FIBA EuroBasket 2017 but backed out because of an ankle injury and then prepared for his rookie season in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks. After averaging 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Erie BayHawks in the NBA G-League, Dorsey is with the Hawks in the NBA where he has averaged 2.2 points and 0.8 rebounds in 6.3 minutes over 10 games.
"I couldn't go this summer because of a sprained ankle. And in order to get ready for the NBA season and be healthy, I had to get the best recovery process from this injury, so I couldn't make it to the final roster," said Dorsey, who was a second round draft pick by Atlanta. "But I followed their campaign at the EuroBasket and I think they showed great things. But we all want to do better and bring Greece back to the top teams' level."
After watching Greece's run to the Quarter-Finals at EuroBasket, Dorsey also watched his compatriots' November Qualifiers - an overtime thriller on the road at Great Britain and a comfortable home win over Israel.
"It was a tough one against Great Britain and a great solid win against Israel. The goal was to win, and they did it. So the first part of the mission is accomplished," Dorsey said. "There are some games left, and we've got to win and make it to the World Cup. Greece have to compete in this competition and I want to help the team do so."
Dorsey is anxious to finally make his Greece senior national team debut.
"BEING PART OF THE TEAM THAT WOULD MAKE IT TO THE WORLD CUP IS A VERY IMPORTANT GOAL FOR ME."
"We all want to qualify for the World Cup, have a great campaign in China and keep growing and building a very competitive team. Being part of the team that would make it to the World Cup is a very important goal for me," said Dorsey, whose only experience in Hellas blue and white came at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2015 in Crete.
"It was such a great experience. It was a new situation; a new environment. And I had to adapt fast in order to have an impact on the team," said the American-born Dorsey, who obtained his Greek passport shortly before the start of the tournament. "Going through that process and experience helped my during my draft process and also during my first weeks in the NBA. I learned a lot at a sports and also at a human level during that experience. I am so proud to be Greek."
The Los Angeles native is very proud of his Greek heritage.
"I have always been very into the Greek culture. At home, with my family and it has always been very present in my life. My grand mother lives close to where I am from, and the Greek influence in my life has always been very strong and part of me. I decided to play for Greece and I got a passport very fast," said Dorsey, who averaged 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.9 assists at the U19 World Cup and was named to the All-Star Five.
"I am proud to be part of the Greek program for the next coming years and I want to be part of the future of the senior national team. I want to help in the next competitions, the World Cup, the Olympics, the EuroBasket, everything," said Dorsey, who starred at Oregon last season and helped them to reach the NCAA Final Four.
After two wins to start their Group H campaign, Greece continue their European Qualifiers next year with home games against Estonia on February 23 and versus Great Britain on February 25.
Playing in the NBA, Dorsey will likely not be available to Greece coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos until the summer window in which the Greeks take on Israel on June 29 and travel to Estonia on July 2, 2018. And he can’t wait to get a chance to play there.