Jamal Murray, who just led Canada to the silver medals in the Pan Am Games, may not be able to participate in the FIBA Americas Championship in August due to classes at Kentucky.
According to Mike DeCourcy of SportingNews.com, the FIBA Americas event runs from August 31 through September 12, but classes begin at UK on August 26.
Kentucky faced a similar situation last season with Karl Towns and the Dominican Republic national team. Towns had to miss the FIBA Americas tournament.
Here is an excerpt from DeCourcy's article:
“We’ll see if there’s any way he can do both, because that’s what I want,” Calipari said. “The kid absolutely wants to play for the national team, and we want that. But the NCAA has really clear guidelines on this.
“This kid is so much for his country, I can’t begin to tell you. Whatever we can do, we’re going to do.”
Murray is a 6-5, 196-pound point guard from Kitchener, Ontario, who committed in June to play next season at Kentucky. Calipari said he spent two days in Canada watching the team train in advance of the Pan-Ams and spoke with team general manager Steve Nash and head coach Jay Triano.
“They are about this kid. They’re not going to do anything that hurts this kid’s career,” Calipari said. “What I’m happy about is, even if he goes there and trains with their team, think of the work he gets in. He’s 18 and he’s playing with pros.”
Kentucky had a similar situation last fall with freshman center Karl-Anthony Towns, who is a part of the Dominican Republic national team program and played for Calipari in 2011 and 2012, when he was the head coach. Dominicana qualified for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, which ran Aug. 30-Sept. 14. Towns did not participate. Calipari said, “With Karl, we couldn’t make that happen.”
In five games, Murray finished with averages of 16.0 points, 3.2 boards and 2.4 assists in the Pan Am Games.
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