For the first time in five years, Kristaps Porzingis will represent Latvia in international competition. The Latvian Basketball Association made the announcement, confirming months of speculation.
The 26-year-old said this per LBS and translated via Google:
Five years have passed since I last wore the jersey of the national team. I can’t wait to wear the jersey again and enjoy basketball with my teammates and sing the national anthem with our sixth players.”
The Washington Wizards big man is eligible to begin practicing with the national team August 4, per the current FIBA-NBA insurance policy. Porzingis will also appear in the friendly matches leading up to the World Cup Qualifiers.
Latvia host Turkey on August 25 and head to Great Britain three days later to tip off Group I of the second and final round of the European Qualifiers.
In Porzingis’ first and only appearance at the senior national level was the 2017 EuroBasket, where he averaged 23.6 points, 5.9 boards, 1.9 blocks, 0.9 blocks and 0.6 steals in helping Latvia make it to the quarterfinal round where their run was ended by Slovenia and future and former teammate Luka Doncic.