For those who were hoping to get your Maurice Harkless fix this August in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup...
You'll have to keep waiting.
Moe Harkless, the one-and-done forward from Queens who became an NBA first-round pick in 2012, has chosen not to play for the Puerto Rican national team this summer in the World Cup - per his agent. (Hat tip to Sportando).
Harkless' grandfather on his mother's side is from Puerto Rico.
In January, Harkless, a 6'9" wing and a rotation player for the Orlando Magic, expressed excitement about playing for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Championships - now dubbed the World Cup - at the end of August.
But facing a third year on an Orlando Magic squad filled with young players and in transition, Harkless has chosen to concentrate on his NBA career and getting ready to battle for minutes on the wing for head coach Jacque Vaughn.
"He wants to focus on the Magic and getting ready for his most important season to date," Happy Walters, Harkless’ agent, told the Orlando Sentinel.
"He is 100 percent focused on getting better every day. He felt that although representing Puerto Rico would be an invaluable experience, it was not realistic to think that he could work on his game within a team atmosphere the way he could by staying here."
The Puerto Rico team lists Carlos Arroyo, Jose Juan Barea, Mike Rosario, Renaldo Balkman, and Devon Collier, among others, who will represent the commonwealth.
Maurice Harkless struggled in the middle of the Magic's season, but came on late in the year with strong three-point shooting and defense. Only 21, the former Red Storm player has a chance to take another leap on an inexperienced Magic squad this fall, while concentrating on improving his skill set.
Harkless averaged just over seven points per game and three rebounds per contest in 80 games for the Magic, and shot 38% from beyond the arc. Signed to an extension last season, Harkless is under contract until at least 2016, where he will be a restricted free agent.