After going undrafted in this past June's NBA draft, former St. John's forward Orlando Sanchez will have a chance to continue his international basketball career, as he was among the 13 players selected to represent the Dominican Republic in the upcoming 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Sanchez, a 26 year-old native of Nagua, Domincan Republic, is no stranger to international competition. In fact, as many Red Storm fans know, he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for the 2012-13 season after it was discovered that he appeared in under four minutes of competition for the Dominican Republic national team back in 2010 at the age of 22. Eventually this ruling would be overturned and Sanchez was rewarded one year of college eligibility, which he used last season.
More recently, Sanchez competed in the 2014 Centrobasket Championship earlier this month, where he appeared in three games and averaged 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, including an impressive 10 point, 9 rebound outburst against Costa Rica. He also appeared in both of the Dominican Republic's recent exhibition games against John Calipari's Kentucky team, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds over 28 total minutes.
The 6'9", 230-pound Sanchez looks to build on his lone season for the Red Storm, where he averaged 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in just over 22 minutes per contest. Despite going undrafted after the season, he did reportedly undergo draft workouts for the Sixers and Kings, and was also invited to be apart of the 2014 Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy. He did not appear in the NBA Summer League, but nonetheless he should have no difficulties finding a spot to play professionally overseas if he chooses to take that route.
The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, formerly known as the FIBA World Championship, will kick off in Spain on Saturday and will run until September 14th when a champion is crowned. Sanchez' Dominican Republic team qualified for the tournament after finishing fourth in last year's FIBA Americas Championship, and they have been paired with the favored United States, Turkey, Finland, New Zealand, and Ukraine in Group C. Their first game will be this Saturday against Ukraine.