Tall Blacks powerhouse Isaac Fotu turns down NBA invitation to play World Cup qualifier - 'It didn't take long to decide'

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Tall Blacks star Isaac Fotu has revealed he turned down a chance to impress scouts at the NBA's annual off season talent showcase to play in this afternoon's World Cup qualifier against China - a decision he felt was fairly easy to make.

Tall Blacks Issac Fotu (L) jumps to take a pass with Korea's Jongkyu Kim during the Basketball World Cup qualifier match between the Tall Blacks and Korea at TSB Arena in Wellington on Thursday the 23 November 2017. Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

Tall Black Issac Fotu jumps to take a pass with Korea's Jongkyu Kim during the Basketball World Cup qualifier match.

Source: Photosport

Fotu, who led the Tall Blacks' scoring today with 15 points in their 67-57 win, was invited to play with Eastern Conference finalists the Boston Celtics at this year's Summer League but he chose country over NBA.

The power forward said after today's game he was invited to the tournament but would have had to fly out yesterday morning, meaning who would've missed today's game.

"I thought about it for 1-2 seconds and then realised how much I love playing for this team, playing with my brothers and we had a home game in Auckland in front of my friends and family. To be honest, it didn't take long at all to decide that.

"It doesn't matter to me. We're going to enjoy tonight and we'll see about [any other opportunities] next week."

Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare wasn't so quick to disregard the decision though.

"That's what makes this team so special, when guys are willing to get out here and go to battle with their brothers," said Henare. "That's a pretty special decision to make but he told me it didn't take him long which emphasises that even more.

"It's unbelievable for it to be a no-brainer decision for him. The pride these guys have in playing for their country is amazing."

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