Doha: US-based Nasser Khalifa Al Rayes joined the Qatar national team camp for the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who studies mechanical engineering student at the California Institute of Technology, represents Caltech Beavers in the US University League.
“We’ve been watching his progress in the university league in the last couple of years. He’s good and hence we selected him for the camp,” said a Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) official to www.dohastadiumplus.com.
A total of 16 teams have been divided into four groups in the Asian tournament, which will be held from August 8 to 20.
Qatar, who qualified as Gulf champions when they beat Saudi Arabia in the final in Sharjah last year, are clubbed with Iraq, China and the Philippines in Group B.
Group A has Iran, Jordan, Syria and India, Group C comprises Kazakhstan, Lebanon, South Korea and New Zealand while Group D consists of Japan, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Australia.
Qatar, ranked 50th in the world and ninth in Asia, will leave for China on July 14 to take part in a competition before returning to Doha to continue preparations.
Coached by Kusay Hatem, they are clubbed with Australia, Lithuania and USA in Group B while Iran, Ukraine, Belarus and the hosts are in Group A.
The Iraqi, who guided Al Gharafa to Qatar Cup and Emir’s Cup triumphs last season, selected a provisional 18-member squad which will be pruned to 14 for the tournament in China.