Omri Casspi will be one of a few players in their first season with the Warriors this upcoming year, but before he plays alongside his new teammates, he will first play for his country.
Casspi, the first Israeli player in NBA history, will be leading his country of Israel in FIBA EuroBasket 2017 over the coming weeks. The tournament will feature Europe’s best 24 teams, broken down into four groups of six who will play in a round robin format. The top four teams in each group then play each other in a single elimination knockout stage (except the semifinals, where the losers in that round play in a third place game). Israel, Romania, Finland and Turkey will serve as host countries for the preliminary round, with the knockout stage taking place at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. It’s the first time ever EuroBasket will be played in Israel, and Casspi is excited by the prospect of playing in front of his home country:
“I did wonder how it must be to play a EuroBasket in your own country, absolutely,” Casspi told FIBA.com last year. “But I never thought it was going to be possible. I am glad we were proven wrong and I feel that now it’s time to return this favor to our fans.”
“It will be great, I am so excited because Israel is a great basketball country,” Casspi added.
Casspi and his Israeli teammates will open EuroBasket play on Thursday against Italy, who knocked Israel out of EuroBasket 2015 in the Round of 16. That will be Israel’s first of five preliminary round games in a span of seven days, all of which will take place in Tel Aviv.
Casspi, an eight-year NBA veteran, certainly won’t be the only NBA player taking part in EuroBasket 2017. The competition includes numerous names familiar to NBA fans, including the likes of Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia), Goran Dragic (Slovenia), Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro), Dennis Schroder (Germany), Evan Fournier (France) and more.
You can watch the live action of EuroBasket 2017 on LiveBasketball.TV and FIBA.com. Check back here often for updates on Casspi’s performance throughout the tournament.