KNOXVILLE – Tennessee sophomore swingman Derek Reese has been selected to play for the Puerto Rican National Team this summer in the 2013 FIBA Stanković Continental Champions Cup June 27 through July 9 in China.
Reese, a native of Orlando, Fla., is eligible to play for Puerto Rico in international competition because his grandparents were born there. He competed for the Puerto Rican U19 team that competed in the Nike Global Challenge last July.
“This is the chance of a lifetime,” Reese said via a release. “I just feel blessed that God has given me another opportunity to play for Puerto Rico. … I’m really trying to work on my ball-handling and also being more consistent with my shot.”
A versatile player at 6-foot-8, Reese can play shooting guard, small forward or power forward. He appeared in 14 games for UT as a true freshman last year, averaging just under 14 minutes per game to go along with 3.7 ppg, and 2.1 rpg. He missed the first two months of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason.
He averaged 7.4 ppg in his first five collegiate games before seeing reduced minutes down the stretch. He did not appear in any of UT’s postseason contests. His 6-8 frame and ability to knock down jumpers could be a valuable asset in 2014-15 and beyond with UT losing Jeronne Maymon, Jordan McRae, possibly Jarnell Stokes and others after the 2013-14 season.
Reese is also considered a candidate to play for Puerto Rico in the Olympics in 2016 (Rio, Brazil) and 2020 (Istanbul, Turkey).