Parker Returning To Country Of Birth


Tony Parker was born in Belgium and is not surprisingly immensely popular in the country, which is one reason why the Lotto Arena in Antwerp will be jam-packed with 5,500 fans on Thursday when the Belgian national team plays in the EuroBasket Additional Qualifying Round play-offs.

However, most of those in attendance won't be rooting for the San Antonio Spurs star because he'll be playing for the enemy, France.

The appearance of the Brugge-born Parker is an interesting aside to a fascinating story that has developed in the Low Countries this summer.

Belgium, arguably the underdogs of Group A heading into the Additional Qualifying Round, overcame Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal to reach the AQR play-offs and now they are within touching distance of a place in the EuroBasket with home and away games on Thursday and Sunday against Les Bleus.

The country is buzzing about basketball after Eddy Casteels' men overcame a narrow defeat to the Bosnians to finish 3-1 in the AQR.

One of the skilful Belgian players who is chomping at the bit to play is Sam Van Rossom.

The point guard would like nothing more than to go up against Parker.

However, a foot injury means he will not go full speed in practice on Monday and the 23-year-old could end up being out of the line-up for the game in Antwerp.

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