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3 Pacers players stacking up points, wins for their home countries

Germany's Daniel Theis (r) scores against Canada's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. in international play. Theis and Pacers teammates Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield are stacking up points and wins for their home countries this summer. (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers don’t tip off their season until October, but three Pacers players are already stacking up wins and losses for their home countries.

Tyrese Haliburton, Daniel Theis, and Buddy Hield are all on international rosters. For Haliburton and Theis, that means a shot at the FIBA World Cup, which starts later this week. Meanwhile, Hield is chasing Olympic dreams.

Haliburton is a guard on Team USA. In exhibition games leading up to the World Cup, the Pacers All-Star has proven to be a great pick; coming in off the bench, he had 12 assists each in wins over Puerto Rico and Spain, then showed his scoring touch with 16 in a stunning Sunday comeback against Germany.  

That performance in particular was painful for Haliburton’s Pacers teammate, Theis.

Theis is a key cog in Germany’s lineup.  He was a role player in Germany’s 2019 World Cup run but has since turned into a regular in the rotation, helping his country win bronze in the EuroBasket competition last year. In the matchup with Haliburton over the weekend, Theis had 12 points as the German team built a commanding first-half lead, only to see Team USA roar back for the victory.

Buddy Hield’s international goals are different than those of his teammates; his home country of the Bahamas did not qualify for the World Cup. Instead, Hield is trying to lead his team to a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics.  

So far, things are going very well: the Bahamas just stunned traditional power Argentina 82-75 on Sunday. Hield had 17 points, second on the night to another player with an Indiana background; former North Central Mr. Basketball and Indiana University star Eric Gordon led with 27.

Next up for Hield and his Bahamas teammates: the next round of Olympic qualifying next July.

Theis and the German national team tip off their World Cup run Friday morning against Japan.

Haliburton and Team USA take on New Zealand at 8:40 a.m. Saturday.