The Indiana Pacers have invested a ton of faith in their behemoth center, Roy Hibbert, and for good reason. Last season, particularly in the postseason, Hibbert really established himself as one of the best big men in the NBA, which is made even more impressive considering that he’s just 26 years old.
In the regular season, the 7’2”, 280-pound Hibbert played in 79 games and averaged 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, but was inefficient overall as he shot just 44.8 percent from the floor. However, Hibbert turned it on in the playoffs and showed his massive potential while he averaged 17 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 36.5 minutes per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor.
At just 26 years old, Hibbert should be entering the prime of his career. One of the things that a lot of players with his talent and age have the opportunity to do to help their development is to participate in Team USA activities and possibly play in championships for the U.S. However, that’s not a possibility for Hibbert right now.
Hibbert, an American citizen, was notably missing from the Team USA camp in Las Vegas this summer as many of the league’s young stars were present. As Nick Borges of ESPN reported this weekend, that’s because Hibbert is ineligible to play with Team USA under FIBA rules right now because he played a meager one game for Jamaica in 2010.
Like Borges pointed out in his report, Hibbert’s father is Jamaican, which is why he was able to play for them three years ago. However, this seems like a senseless technicality that is keeping Hibbert off of Team USA right now. For the sake of Hibbert, the Pacers’ best interests, and the center’s further development, let’s hope Hibbert can appeal and don the red, white and blue in the near future.