Vols’ Vescovi named to Uruguay’s Olympic qualifying basketball team

Tennessee Olympians

In this file photo dated Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi brings the ball downcourt against Auburn during the second half of an NCAA basketball game, in Auburn, Alabama. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, FILE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee junior guard Santiago Vescovi has made Uruguay’s 12-man Olympic qualifying team and is set to begin competition Tuesday in Victoria, Canada.

After having previously been named to the initial 16-man roster, Vescovi made the cut for the finalized 12-man roster after having practiced in Uruguay with the team for the past two weeks. Vescovi and Uruguay are contending for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics field through competing in the Victoria FIBA Qualifying Tournament, which runs through July 4.

Uruguay is set to begin competition in group stage games against Turkey and Czech Republic on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, before advancing to a bracket stage that will also include two of Greece, China and Canada. The winner of the bracket stage will earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to run from July 23 through Aug. 8.

Overall, 12 countries qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup produced seven of those qualifying teams, and Japan received an automatic bid as the event’s hosts. The remaining four spots in the field are reserved for the winners of the four different FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournaments.

Vescovi, a native of Montevideo, Uruguay, has started 42 of his 46 games as a Vol and owns a career average of 9.5 points per game. Last season, Vescovi led Tennessee in minutes and assists per game, while his 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio also led the team and was second among all SEC players.

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