In an open letter to players, legendary former Yugoslavia international and FIBA Hall of Famer Vlade Divac says that watching his national team is what inspired him to take up the sport.
"I'll never forget the thrill of watching Yugoslavian National team in action and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be like them and to earn the chance to represent my country at EuroBasket, the World Cup and the Olympic Games, and was blessed to be able to do so," he writes.
The two-time FIBA Basketball World Cup winner has called on players worldwide to support FIBA's new competition calendar, describing it as 'win-win for players, fans, national federations, leagues and clubs.'
"Representing your country is the ultimate honor and I know that many of you feel the same way."DivacHe concludes: "The new calendar means that, for the first time, they (players) will have one free summer in every four-year cycle, reducing the pressure and providing the time needed to rest and recover from an already arduous schedule.
"It is really important that the new global calendar will also create opportunities and help develop new talent by enabling younger players from more countries to play international basketball."
Vlade Divac's open letter to the Players in full (Click here to view as pdf in new window)