(photo credit: AP)
Israel coach Tzvika Sherf announced his squad for September's EuroBasket tournament on Tuesday and said he would not get "into a conflict" with Omri Casspi if the latter chose to pull out of the team to boost his chances of making the Sacramento Kings' roster for next season.
The national team faces Croatia on September 7 in Poznan, Poland in its European Championship opener and plays Macedonia a day later before wrapping up its Group A games with a showdown against Greece on September 9.
"Omri is under a lot of pressure from his team, but we hope he will be able to join us in training and we will do all we can to make sure he plays for us in the championships," Sherf said. "I like Omri a lot and I want him to be on our the team at the European Championships. But I will not get into a conflict with him."
Sherf is aiming for a top-8 finish in the championships.
"We have a very tough group," Sherf said. "We believe in our abilities and we hope to progress from the group and reach the quarterfinals."
Israel's roster will begin training at the end of the month and will play in three warm-up events before it leaves early for Poland so it can visit the Auschwitz concentration camp ahead of the championships.
"We are facing a very long and tough summer," said Olympiacos guard Yotam Halperin, who will need to step up his play to fill the void left by retiring captain Meir Tapiro.