National team likely to play Asian qualifiers without naturalized player

Dar Tucker
The Jordanian national team’s naturalized player, Dar Tucker. (Photo: FIBA)
AMMAN — Jordan’s national basketball team will likely have to play the third and final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup final qualifiers without a naturalized player, a trusted source told Jordan News. اضافة اعلان

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the Jordan Basketball Federation (JBF) and national team’s technical staff took this step to avoid making a rushed decision in selecting a play who can appropriately represent the Kingdom in the qualifiers.

The call can also be attributed to the injury of Dar Tucker, Jordan’s current naturalized player, which will require surgical intervention and prevent his appearance at the Asia Cup qualifiers, although JBF Secretary General Nabeel Abu Ata had previously assured that the Kingdom had studied several options for the naturalization of someone who can play as a power forward and center, to the betterment of the “Nashama Falcons” “new offense-based identity.”

Jordan is scheduled to host the third window of the Asian qualifiers between June 12 and June 14 at the Prince Hamzah Hall, in addition to Group E matches, which will see showdowns between Iran, Qatar, Saudi and Syria. The national squad will play a total of three games in Group F — two against Palestine and one against Kazakhstan.

According to the source, all measures pertaining to hosting the qualifiers have been taken, along with strict precautionary measures, which include the secure escorting of participating delegation and close health inspections that would prevent mingling with the players. All “health bubble” staff will have been vaccinated before the games kick off in June.

Trusted source also revealed to Jordan News that the JBF’s board of directors will meet within the next few days to make an official decision regarding the cancellation of tournaments still pending from the 2020 season, which include the U-16 boys’ league, U-14 girls’ league and the U-18 women’s league.

This step comes in light of “futile” correspondence between the JBF and official bodies, in which the former requested the return of events and training, especially after the JBF secretary general had sent a letter to local-club representatives informing them of the federation’s efforts to facilitate the resumption of activities and championships, and reopening of training halls.

In the letter, a copy of which was received by Jordan News, the federation said: …We are still trying and until we have a clear picture of whether we will be able to reopen halls, all we can do is call upon the national teams that we have been authorized to train, as the Prince Hamzah Hall has been reopened for that purpose alone.”

The JBF had previously devised a timeline to resume suspended 2020 tournaments from the end of May and until the end of next June. Those are likely to be cancelled ahead of the new 2021 season starting in mid-June through the Promising Falcons Program.

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