Vols Guard Santiago Vescovi Fighting For Spot on Uruguay’s Olympic Qualifying Roster

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(utsports.com) Tennessee basketball junior guard Santiago Vescovi has been selected as one of 16 players vying for a spot on Uruguay’s 12-man Olympic qualifying roster.

Uruguay’s current 16-man team begins practice on June 14 and will then cut its roster from 16 to 12 prior to contending for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics field through competing in a FIBA Qualifying Tournament, which is scheduled for June 29 through July 4 in Victoria, Canada.

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The members of Uruguay’s final 12-man roster are set to begin competition in group stage games against Turkey and Czech Republic on June 29 and July 1, respectively, before advancing to a bracket stage that will also include 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 25 through August 7.

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.

After joining the Tennessee program midway through the 2019-20 season, Vescovi has been a key contributor for the Volunteers for one and a half seasons. The Montevideo, Uruguay, native 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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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.