- National Teams
Joel Freeland has confirmed he will not play for Great Britain in their Eurobasket qualifiers this summer, opting to focus on his career as he heads into the final year of his Portland contract.
“I said I’m committed to staying over here and getting better over here,” he said to The Oregonian. “I don’t want to do that stuff when, really, it’s not going to help me in my career. I need to focus on my career.”
Freeland had a breakout season in his second year in the league, being a solid contributor for the Blazers until he tore the MCL in his right knee in February forcing him to miss an extended period of time. He is suiting up for Portland in the Las Vegas Summer League that starts today, and is relishing the challenge.
“I got injured, I missed 29 games at the end of the season, I didn’t play, basically didn’t play, in the playoffs,” Freeland said Wednesday after practice. “They (coaches and management) wanted and I wanted to get some rhythm going into this season, get the jitters out a little bit and just get out and play and keep improving. What else am I going to be doing?”
His absence from the Joe Prunty’s GB squad is a blow, and he is not expected to be the only absentee from the initial squad list announced last month.
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