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Thunder’s Steven Adams included in New Zealand’s players pool for FIBA World Cup

Steven Adams, Thunder

The New Zealand basketball association have, as expected, included Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams as part of their preliminary players pool for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, which will be held in China this August to September.

Speaking to Grant Chapman of Newshub, the New Zeland Tall Blacks head coach Paul Henare described the type of impact Adams would be able to bring to the table for their squad.

“What he would bring to the team is international size,what he can do at the defensive end of the floor is phenomenal, with his ability to black and change shots, and what he does from a rebound perspective at both ends of the floor,” says Henare.

“That is something we have rarely had at our disposal is that genuine size and athleticism at that pivot spot. Obviously, we would love to have him, but ultimately that decision comes down to Steve.”

However, despite his nation’s desire to include the 7-foot big man on their final roster, Adams’ participation on the team is anything but certain. Whether he ends up representing his country for the upcoming international tournament rests on a decision that shall be made by Adams himself, and of course, his employer, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Basketball New Zealand has been in regular communication with Steve and his agency and management at OKC,” says Henare.

“We will look to conclude those conversations in the weeks ahead, but clearly Steve is a player we want wearing the black singlet.”

Adams is the biggest name on nation’s shortlist, and his inclusion will definitely have a tremendous impact on how New Zeland will fare in the World Cup.