Steven Adams turns back on New Zealand selection

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 17, 2019 06:55 PM
Steven Adams turns back on New Zealand selection
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 5: Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder blocks the shot of Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic on February 5, 2019 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand NBA star Steven Adams has turned down the chance to play for New Zealand at the basketball World Cup in China later this year.

The Oklahoma City Thunder center was named in New Zealand's initial 25-man squad for the tournament. But he informed Basketball New Zealand through his management Monday that he will not be available.

A statement from Adams' agent at the Wasserman Media Group did not give a reason for Adams' refusal but said he would be eager to play for New Zealand in the future.

"Steven's support of the (New Zealand team) and his interest in playing for the program at some point down the line is unwavering," the statement said. "While he won't be participating this year with the national team, his plan is to evaluate the opportunity to play in the 2020 Olympics following the upcoming NBA season."

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