After concerns about who would pay for his insurance to allow him to play, Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation reports that San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter has joined the Brazilian national team in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Argentina.
The Brazilian publication globoesporte.com reports the Brazilian Basketball Confederation will pay for Splitter’s insurance to allow him to play with them.
Splitter is the first of the Spurs’ foreign-born players to get their insurance concerns resolved to play in the tournament. Both Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have said they most likely will not join their national teams unless their insurance is taken care of him.
Splitter will be participating in three exhibition games with his team, including two games against Mexico and one against an American team that consists of college players.
He was excited about his first day with his national team, but realized he had much to do to get in synch with his new teammates. Among those on the team are Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“First day with national team, not much to say but a lot work to do,” Splitter tweeted after the first day of practice.
With the insurance questions resolved, playing with his team will provide some much-needed experience for Splitter this summer.
And with the lockout in place, there would be little for Splitter to do if he remained in America waiting for the 2011-12 NBA season.