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06 - 21
August 2016
15 Tiago SPLITTER (Brazil); 10 Nikola KALINIC (Serbia)
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Splitter to work courtside for Brazilian TV at Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Brazil's Tiago Splitter has officially ruled himself out of the Olympics. The veteran center has enjoyed a good recovery from the hip operation he underwent 10 weeks ago but says he will not be fully fit in August when the Games are staged in Rio.

The Atlanta Hawks pivot offered his thoughts on missing the Olympics in an interview with nbpa.com.

"The Olympics is something that I'm going to miss because I really want to get back well next season," Splitter said. "And the Olympics, if I play, it will be rushed and I won't be 100 percent. And I don't want to do that. But it gives other players a chance."

I've been on the national team for 14 years - I started on the senior national team at 17 years old - so it’s going to be a real pity to be out of the Olympics. But on the other hand, I want the national team to be as strong as they can be and really try to make something important [happen] this summer. - Splitter

The last time Splitter played for Brazil was in 2014 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. He was an important man in a team that reached the Quarter-Finals of the event.

While his absence is a huge loss for the national team, it's someone else's gain. Splitter will still be at the Rio Games as a member of the staff of Brazilian TV network Globo.

"I have a good relationship with Brazilian TV Globo," Splitter said. "When they knew I would be out for the Olympics, they invited me to broadcast the games in Brazil since I know the national team very well, and I know the USA team very well. I said yes and then everything just started to work out."

Splitter will work courtside with former women's national team star, Hortencia Marcari. He will not be a newcomer to the profession. Following his hip operation, he accepted an offer to work for Spanish radio in Atlanta and enjoyed the experience.

The 31-year-old will be among the national team's biggest fans in Rio. He firmly believes the men's team has a chance to reach the podium. They will play in Group B against Argentina, Lithuania, Nigeria, Spain and a team that wins a FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. 

"I think we have a great generation of basketball players in Brazil that's going to play in this Olympic Games," he said. "It's a generation that struggled a little bit at the beginning because we never had to qualify for the Olympics.

"Then we came back, we qualified for London and we had a good tournament there. We finished fifth. We felt that we had a chance to have a medal. And now it's kind of like the last shot for most of the guys."

Everybody is like 32, 33, some guys are 35, 36. So it’s an experienced team that has been in that position. We have a chance to have a medal at home, so it’s very special. - Splitter