Summer hoops are in progress for former Gonzaga standouts playing in FIBA World Cup 2023 qualifiers and the Big3.
Former Gonzaga forward Filip Petrusev got the start for his native Serbia, which lost to Latvia 66-59 on Thursday in a World Cup European qualifier. Petrusev missed all four of his field-goal attempts and failed to score, but he grabbed 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. Serbia faces Belgium on Sunday.
Petrusev, selected 50th overall by Philadelphia in the 2021 NBA draft, has played professionally for teams in Serbia and Turkey. He’s reportedly on the 76ers’ roster for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which runs from Thursday through July 17.
Former Zags teammates Kelly Olynyk and Kevin Pangos are with the Canadian senior national team, which opens the next World Cup qualifying window against Dominican Republic on Friday before facing the Virgin Islands on Monday. Olynyk wasn’t available when Canada came up short in a last-chance Olympics qualifying tournament last summer because he was an NBA free agent .
“Obviously, it’s tough, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the summer, next summer of summer after with the (NBA) season, injuries, life,” Olynyk told Canada Basketball’s website basketball.ca. “Everything pops up, stuff happens, so it’s definitely complicated. … If you want to be here and you’re for it, you’re going to make time, make it your priority and that’s kind of what we’re trying to make happen and make it about so that can happen.”
Olynyk, 31, has 41 games of experience with the senior national team spanning more than a decade. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 19.1 minutes coming off Detroit’s bench in his ninth NBA season.
Pangos, who played in 24 games with Cleveland last season, was part of Canada’s training camp in Toronto but won’t participate in the qualifiers, according to the Toronto Sun. He was set to join CSKA Moscow in February, but his plans changed with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
David Stockton, who joined Pangos in Gonzaga’s backcourt for three seasons, was named to the U.S. World Cup qualifying team a few weeks ago, but he’s no longer on the roster due to a right hand injury, according to a USA Basketball release. Stockton, who helped the U.S. go 2-0 in qualifying games in February, has been replaced by Xavier Munford.
The Americans face Puerto Rico on Friday and Cuba on Monday.
Jeremy Pargo, a GU standout from 2006-09, is off to a fast start in the Big3, the 3-on-3 league co-founded by Ice Cube in 2017. Pargo and older brother Jannero are co-captains and have helped the Triplets to a 2-0 start. Jeremy ranks eighth in scoring (34 points), tied for fourth in 3-pointers (four) and tied for first in 4-pointers (two). Jannero is tied for third in 3-pointers (five).
The Triplets face Ball Hogs on Saturday in Dallas.
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