Pau Gasol is thisclose to a fifth Olympics appearance…
Spain has included the 40-year-old professional basketball player, who currently plays for FC Barcelona of the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague, in its preliminary squad for the Tokyo Games.
Gasol was among the 18 players called up by coach Sergio Scariolo to prepare for the Summer Olympics. Only 12 players will make the final squad.
The two-time NBA champion and four-time All-NBA team selection is trying to play in his fifth Olympics. He was included after overcoming a long injury layoff and a successful return to Barcelona this season.
He will turn 41 before the Games open on July 23.
Gasol’s brother Marc also made the list, as did Ricky Rubio. Both were key for Spain when it won the world championship two years ago in China. A total of eight world champions are on the preliminary list.
Other names in the squad include Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Abrines, Sergio Llull and newcomer Usman Garuba, who is projected to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft next month.
Another sibling pair — Juancho and Willy Hernangomez– were included.
Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez are teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Willy Hernangomez played this season for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The team will begin its preparations on Friday in Madrid.
Spain is a three-time silver medalist at the Olympics. It won the bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.