French point guard Tony Parker could miss both the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Manila, Philippines in July and the Olympics in Rio, Brazil in August because of his wife’s pregnancy.
Parker shared in a radio interview as reported by ESPN that his wife is due at the end of July—in the middle of the OQT in Manila set July 4 to 10 and Rio Olympics scheduled Aug. 6 to 21.
Parker also stated that he has not yet decided on his national team stint but admitted that his wife’s opinion on the matter will be a major factor in the decision.
“This is big news. I will need to talk with the France team. And negotiate with my wife, too. The schedule is very, very difficult,” Parker was quoted saying, via ESPN.
Parker, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, is one of the mainstays for the French basketball national team in recent international competitions.
Parker has played for the French cadets squad since 1997 before landing a spot in the seniors team by 2001. Parker has represented France in seven Eurobasket championships—the biggest tournament in the European continent– since then and the 2012 Olympics in London.
Parker helped France to podium finishes in the European championships in 2005 Serbia (bronze medal), 2011 Lithuania (silver medal), 2013 Slovenia (gold medal) and in 2015 France (bronze medal).
In the OQT in the Philippines, Parker’s France is grouped with New Zealand and the host country while the other group features Canada, Senegal and Turkey. France and Canada are pegged as favorites to advance to Rio with only one team advancing to the Olympic Games.
12 other countries—six teams in each stop– will also battle in two other OQTs, set in Italy and Serbia, simultaneous with the tournament in the Philippines and with two nations qualifying for the games in Brazil.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia/Christopher Johnson