LUANDA (AfroBasket 2015) - Angolan ace Yanick Moreira will not represent his country at the AfroBasket 2015 in Tunisia, he confirmed on Thursday in Luanda.
The 2.11m center, who led the Angolans in scoring and rebounding at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World, has a pre-season agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers, and will be spending part of the summer working on his conditioning training in the USA to become the first Angolan to enter the NBA.
"I haven't taken this decision lightly because I would love to play for my country at AfroBasket 2015," he told the local media.
Moreira's decision to sit out the tournament taking place in Tunisia from 19-30 August comes as a blow for Angola, who already lost the services of Milton Barros and Olimpio Cipriano, both sidelined through injury.
Rising star Silvio Sousa, who is currently attempting to enrol into a university in the United States, will also sit out.
Still, Moreira who turns 24 next week, is confident that the 11-time African champions can succeed again and defend the title they won in 2013.
I truly believe in my national team teammates, and I feel that we will win the Cup [AfroBasket 2015]. I won’t be missed. - Moreira
Although Moreira has become one of Angola's key players, he is yet to play in Africa's biggest basketball competition.
"On Tuesday, he told me of his dream of playing in the NBA,” Angola's head coach Moncho Lopez said of his conversation with Moreira. "I appreciated his honesty and, obviously, I wished him luck.
"Nothing has changed our plans to compete to win the African championship and qualify for the Olympic Games."
At AfroBasket 2015, Angola will play in Group B against Morocco, Mozambique and Senegal.