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The 12-team competition for men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics was finalized Sunday as the qualifying games came to an end.
Among the teams that qualified is Germany, who won the FIBA qualifying tournament in Croatia led by Moritz Wagner’s 28 points.
But one of Germany’s best players, point guard Dennis Schroder, couldn’t play for his country due to insurance requirements. Schroder, who is entering free agency this summer, failed to get insurance coverage since his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expired, making it difficult for him to join the squad.
After Schroder watched Germany celebrate after winning the qualifying tournament, he expressed his desire to join the team in Tokyo, according to German publication Zeit:
“If there is a possibility, then that would of course be great,” said Schröder after the 75:64 in the final of the qualifying tournament in Split against Brazil, which cleared the way to Japan.
Schröder would like to go to Tokyo
“I’m always available, but my situation is not that easy. But I hope we can sort that out by then. My agent has to do his job now. The German national team has done its job, let’s see,” said Schröder, who had supported the German team in all four games as a spectator in the hall, full of emotions.
But in order for Schroder to play in Tokyo, he’d still have to find a way to get covered through insurance. Also, the German team would need to remove a player from the 12-man roster to make room for Schroder.
Here’s what Germany head coach Henrik Rodl said after the final, via Zeit:
“That Dennis was here is a great sign,” said Rödl immediately after the game. And without knowing what Schröder said, he added. “It is clear that these twelve who were here in Split deserve it and are there in Tokyo.”
Schroder has a strong case as Germany’s best player, so their hopes of going deep in the tournament could depend on Schroder’s status. It’ll be interesting to monitor how Germany sorts everything out.