The Sacramento Kings 2023 off-season addition, Chris Duarte, is making a name for himself as he prepares to participate in the FIBA World Cup. Duarte, born in the Dominican Republic, has earned the chance to represent his home country this summer.
Chris Duarte, 26, is entering his third season in the NBA after spending his rookie and sophomore seasons in Indiana. The Pacers traded him to the Kings for two second-round picks. Besides being one of the few off-season moves the Kings made, Sacramento fans got excited when they brought in a young guard with a high upside.
The 6’5″ guard expressed his love for representing the Dominican Republic back in January (via FIBA basketball):
"“The day I was presented at home with the team, I almost cried. It’s something I can’t explain. Seeing the fans applauding, shouting my name, the pride of being there did not fit in my chest. It was fulfilling a childhood dream… I want to be at the World Cup.”"
Chris Duarte represented the Dominican Republic for the first time last summer during FIBA World Cup qualifiers. Now that they have qualified, Duarte gets the opportunity to fulfill his goal of playing in the World Cup.
Duarte wants to have a lasting impact as he represents his country:
"“I want to do my best in the NBA to continue opening doors for the latino players, just as (Argentina’s) Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola did at the time. That is my goal right now, that Latinos and Dominicans feel proud.”"
Chris Duarte has an amazing opportunity to make Latinos and Dominicans proud, as he gets help from Dominican Republic teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Al Horford.
Karl-Anthony Towns, a three-time NBA All-Star, gives the Dominican Republic some firepower. He is coming off an injury-plagued season for the Minnesota Timberwolves but is ready to represent his late mother’s home country this summer.
Al Horford, a five-time All-Star, has the experience to make this team a real threat. The 37-year-old big man was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, similar to Kings’ guard Chris Duarte.
Chris Duarte can use this FIBA World Cup experience as momentum heading into the 2023-24 NBA season and can be an impactful player for the Sacramento Kings.