Kristaps Porzingis declares himself available for Latvia

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has declared himself available to represent Latvia at this summer’s Eurobasket.

The 21-year-old made the decision at a press conference in his home town of Liepaja which will no doubt delight the nation as they aim to better their second round finish in Lille, two years ago.

Every summer has been important to me throughout my career,” Porzingis said during the press conference.

“It’s important for me to be ready for next season. I start training right away. But I’ve made a decision to play for the national team this summer.”

It will be Porzingis’ first senior international tournament for Latvia. The NBA star featured for the national at the U18 European Championship in 2013 where he averaged 11.6 points and 10.0 rebounds a game.

So that he could focus on his new found responsibilities with the Knicks, Porzingis missed out on Eurobasket 2015 and last year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament but the youngster had no hesitation regarding this summer’s event where Latvia will be based in Istanbul where they play hosts Turkey, Serbia, Russia, Belgium and Great Britain in Group D.

“I made the final decision after the season,” Porzingis said.

“I’m excited. It wasn’t a hard choice to make, I had thought it about it from time to time during the season. I know that it will be a hard summer, but it will work out for the best next year.”