Within the din of the opposing workforce’s revelry, Karl-Anthony Cities discovered solace within the Dominican Republic’s marketing campaign within the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
Holding again his tears whereas talking to a bunch of overseas reporters, Cities, one of many few top-flight NBA stars who opted to symbolize his nation in a match seen as much less prestigious than the Olympic Video games, stated he takes pleasure in what his squad has been in a position to put collectively regardless of crashing out of quarterfinal rivalry.
“I feel we introduced lots of happiness to lots of households again dwelling and I feel that’s the fantastic thing about basketball,” he stated on Sunday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum in Quezon Metropolis. “That’s what sports activities is about.”
“It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from—whether or not or not it’s China, Japan, USA, Serbia, Slovenia or the Dominican Republic, all of us communicate one language,” he added.
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“That’s the wonder [of] this sport. There are very, only a few issues on the earth which have a common language. Basketball is certainly one of them.”
The Dominicans fell to the Serbians, 112-79, to overlook out on a quarterfinal berth within the international showcase. The Caribbeans additionally did not tab a ticket to the Paris Summer season Olympics that Canada snared by dethroning Spain later that night time.
However Cities insists these failures hardly diminish his workforce’s feat.
“We did one thing that everybody didn’t anticipate us to do. We made little girls and boys again dwelling proud. I feel we gave them an opportunity to see that we might be: A prime workforce within the nation. Even on the earth,” he stated.
“I really feel this workforce did lots of nice issues for lots of people who want it.”
Cities, a three-time NBA All-Star, looks like his workforce’s story can also be shared by a bevy of groups that additionally didn’t make the ultimate section that will get occurring Tuesday at Mall of Asia Area.
Simply main that listing is South Sudan, a younger nation whose basketball program was put collectively solely 12 years in the past however has emerged as one of many indelible tales of the match.
The Vivid Stars, just like the Dominicans, additionally missed out on a quarterfinal berth. However their crew—largely comprised of gamers who had been displaced by poverty and strife—did simply sufficient to earn passage into Paris, which is one thing federation president Luol Deng stated must be a supply of boundless inspiration at dwelling.
He additionally thinks that the workforce’s marketing campaign has kicked open lots of doorways on his dwelling soil.
“We’re gonna rejoice this and luxuriate in it, however [there’s] impression that that is making on our youth,” he stated. “Now, we will make investments extra within the youth. I’m not right here to only say basketball. Sports activities usually, but additionally music and artwork.”