The Congolese-born, who first represented Spain at EuroBasket 2011, before helping his adopted country finish runners-up of the 2012 Olympic Games, says if he is fully recovered from his calf injury, he won’t hesitate to play his first World Cup.
“Yeah, I’m sure I’m going to feel better soon,” Ibaka said. “I’m going to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing in the playoff and see.”
Ibaka missed the first two games of the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio, but he miraculously recovered from a leg injury, inspiring the Thunder to bounce-back and tie the best-of-seven playoff series, before falling in Game 6.
Now he is getting focused in yet another challenge.
“My hope is to play with the Spanish national team, but let’s see how my leg is going to feel the next couple weeks,” said the 24-year-old who represented the Republic of Congo at youth level before acquiring Spanish nationality in 2011.
Should Ibaka be cleared to play for Spain this summer (30 August to 14 September), it would be a significant addition for the hosts of the World Cup who will play their Group A in the city of Granada, against Brazil, Egypt, France, Serbia and Iran.
The news comes after Ibaka was named to NBA All-Defensive First Team for the 2013-14 season along with Chris Paul, Paul George, Andre Iguodala and Joakim Noah.
Ibaka joins Chris Paul as the only players to receive First Team All-Defensive honours in each of the last three seasons.
During the 2013-14 season, Ibaka led the NBA in total blocked shots for a fourth consecutive season, joining Dikembe Mutombo as the only players in league history to accomplish such a feat.