NBA rookie-of-the-year candidate Kyrie Irving said he will announce next week whether he intends to play for Australia at this summer’s London Olympics.
The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard was born in Melbourne in March 1992 while his father, Drederick Irving, was playing professionally in the country with the Bulleen Boomers.
Irving, 19, moved to New York at the age of two and holds dual nationality, which enabled him to play for the United States at junior level.
His involvement with the under-18s would require the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to alter his eligibility should he decide to side with his country of birth at the 2012 Games.
Irving, who was taken by the Cavs with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, would be an enormous boost for the Australians after averaging 18.5 points and 5.1 assists per game in his first pro season since leaving Duke University.
Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski is pushing for his former college protege to join the US Select team to mold him toward a role at future Olympics, beyond London.
Asked about his international status after Cleveland’s 120-103 defeat to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, Irving confirmed to reporters he will reach a decision next week, adding, "It’s still up in the air."
Irving outscored opposite point guard sensation Jeremy Lin with 22 points to 19 at Madison Square Garden.
But the Knicks star delivered more assists (13 to seven) and turned the ball over only once, while Irving gifted possession four times.