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Heat prevent Nikola Jovic from playing in EuroBasket 2022

Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic has been ruled out of participating in EuroBasket 2022 with the Serbian national team, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Serbian head coach Svetislav Pesic said the team will be without Jovic because the Heat did not give him permission to play in the event. The team wants Jovic to stay back in the United States and prepare for the upcoming season.

Jovic was among the players named to Serbia’s roster for EuroBasket 2022, which will run Sept. 1-18. The event would have been his second with the senior team after debuting in February during the FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers.

He also competed in the 2021 FIBA ​​U19 Basketball World Cup.

Serbia will also be without Aleksej Pokusevski after the Oklahoma City Thunder opted to hold him out of the event, as well. The team will be led by Nikola Jokic and will also feature Nemanja Bjelica, Milos Teodosic, Filip Petrusev and Alen Smailagic among others.

The team was placed in Group D this year, along with hosts the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands and Poland. It will begin its schedule on Sept. 2 versus the Netherlands and then play the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel and Poland.

The four best teams from each group will advance to the next stage.

Jovic, the 25th pick in the NBA draft, recently completed a stint with the Heat in the summer league. He averaged 8.5 points and five rebounds in four games between California and Las Vegas. He had his best game on July 5 with 25 points and nine rebounds.

With training camp for most NBA teams beginning in late September, the Heat ultimately decided to keep Jovic close to the team ahead of his rookie campaign. The group will be looking to make another deep playoff run and will want as a full participant in training camp.


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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire