Former Gonzaga basketball players in 2024 Paris Olympics: Roster tracker

Gonzaga could have a strong showing in Paris this summer at the Olympic Games
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To Mark Few, nothing compares to representing his home country on the world’s biggest stage.

“When you get asked to represent your country at the highest level of basketball, that’s as good as it gets,” Few said. “To me, it’s the highest honor.”

Few’s respect for international basketball and its stark yet subtle differences from the U.S. game can be seen in how he leads the Gonzaga men’s basketball program. The Bulldogs’ style and pace of play resembles that of many European clubs, not to mention the slew of foreign talent that has made its way to Spokane from all different parts of the globe. Vice versa, many of Few’s players find themselves continuing their basketball careers overseas once they leave college.

That being said it doesn’t come as a surprise that Gonzaga could have strong representation at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As Few joins Team USA as an assistant coach, it’s expected that many of his former players will be competing for the gold medal as well.

Here’s a look at which former Zags could be making the trip to Paris this August.

Players officially named to training camp rosters/competing to qualify for Olympic Games:

DOMANTAS SABONIS, LITHUANIA

Domantas Sabonis
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Though they haven’t officially qualified for the Games, the Lithuanians can punch their ticket to Paris with a win at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July. Sabonis’ commitment to the national team for this summer is a major boost for Lithuania, which finished sixth at the FIBA World Cup last summer without the All-NBA forward. With NBA veteran Jonas Valanciunas also onboard, Team Lithuania poses quite the formidable frontcourt tandem.

Sabonis is coming off another historic season with the Sacramento Kings in which he led the NBA in rebounds, double-doubles (77) and triple-doubles (26). He was named All-NBA third team for the second straight season with 19.4 points, 13.7 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game.

ANDREW NEMBHARD, CANADA

Andrew Nembhard
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Nembhard could be part of a historic journey to Paris with Team Canada, which hasn’t made an appearance in men’s basketball at the Games since 2000. The 6-foot-5 guard will take part in training camp this summer after he “expressed excitement” in representing his home country to head coach Jordi Fernandez. 

Nembhard looks to compete for a spot on what’s expected to be a loaded roster riddled with NBA talent. Headlined by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Canadians are also expected to bring back Toronto Raptors guard RJ Barrett, Houston Rockets wing Dillon Brooks and Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell, among others, from a squad that took down Team USA in the bronze medal game at the FIBA World Cup. Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray and Golden State Warriors wing Andrew Wiggins could join the team as well.

Nembhard comes off an impressive run in the NBA Playoffs with the Indiana Pacers, as he averaged 14.9 points, 5.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 56.0% from the field and 48.3% from downtown. Indiana advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals after Nembhard scored 20 points in a win over the New York Knicks in Game 7 of the second round. Against the Boston Celtics, Nembhard had a 24-point, 10-assist game in a Game 4 loss.

FILIP PETRUSEV, SERBIA

Filip Petrusev
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Petrusev was among the 16 candidates chosen to compete for the 12 roster spots on the Serbian national team, which is expected to feature three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets along with a handful of former and current NBA talent. The Serbs took home the silver medal at the FIBA World Cup last summer as Petrusev averaged 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in six appearances, including a 10-point outing in the final round against Germany. 

Petrusev is coming off a EuroLeague Final Four appearance with Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece), who he signed with in November after being released by the Sacramento Kings. The 6-foot-11 forward made his official NBA debut with the Philadelphia 76ers, the team that drafted him in the second round in 2021, before being dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a trade that was centered around James Harden. 

Fun fact — Petrusev is one of six former Gonzaga players to win a gold medal in an international tournament (FIBA or Olympics). 

Players who haven’t officially been named to a roster:

BRANDON CLARKE, CANADA

Brandon Clarke
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Team Canada has yet to officially release its training camp roster, though it would appear Clarke is due an invite after he committed to a three-year agreement with the national team in 2022. Less than a year later, Clarke tore his Achilles and was forced to sit out much of the 2023-24 season, as he played six of the final eight games with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 6-foot-8 forward’s involvement with the Canadian national team in Paris could come down to his health. 

KELLY OLYNYK, CANADA

Kelly Olynyk
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Given his dedication to the national team and veteran leadership, Olynyk should be with Team Canada on its historic journey to Paris. The 33-year-old boasts plenty of international experience and was a key contributor at the World Cup last summer. It seems fitting for Rowan Barrett, the executive vice president and general manager of the national team, to bring Olynyk aboard for a run at the gold medal.

Olynyk was able to return close to home after he was traded from the Utah Jazz to the Toronto Raptors in February. The 6-foot-11 forward averaged 12.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 28 games with his team. In March, the 10-year NBA veteran signed a 2-year, $26 million extension with the Raptors. 

KEVIN PANGOS, CANADA

Kevin Pangos
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga fans might find themselves rooting for Team Canada this summer depending on how many former Zags make the final roster cut. Pangos, 31, was among the 14 players who made a three-year commitment to the national team in 2022, though he didn’t play in last summer’s World Cup after joining the team as a late entry. Still, there’s a chance he’s invited to training camp given that his EuroLeague club Valencia Basket finished its 2023-24 season.

Pangos last suited up with the national team for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers. He played two games and averaged 11 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 assists. 

RUI HACHIMURA, JAPAN

Rui Hachimura
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After passing on the World Cup to prepare for the 2023-24 NBA season, it remains unclear if Hachimura will represent his home Japan at the Paris Games. 

Team Japan managed to qualify for the 2024 Olympics after it pulled off a pair of must-win classification games against Venezuela and Cape Verde in the World Cup. With a first-round win over Finland, Japan was the only FIBA Asia club to win three games. Since Japan hosted the Olympics in 2021, it's the first time the men’s national team has qualified for the Olympics since 1976.

Hachimura averaged 13.6 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 53.7% from the field and 42.2% from 3-point range with the Los Angeles Lakers this past season.

Players who didn’t make the cut: Joel Ayayi (France) and Killian Tillie (France)


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Cole Forsman

COLE FORSMAN

Cole Forsman is a reporter for Gonzaga Nation, a member of Sports Illustrated’s FanNation network. Cole holds a degree in Journalism and Sports Management from Gonzaga University.