Sacred Heart University men's basketball player Tevin Falzon (Newton, Mass.) departed the Fairfield Campus on Friday to begin training with the Maltese National Team. The rising junior will compete in the 2014 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries in July.
"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to play for Malta's National team," said Falzon. "I feel very lucky and blessed to have this opportunity, and I will do my best to try and help bring the Gold Medal back to Malta."
The 2014 FIBA European Championship will take in Gibraltar beginning July 7 and runs through July 12. Falzon and Malta are in Group B in pool play, with Scotland and Wales the other countries in that pool. Malta takes on Scotland in the first game of the tournament on July 7 and then plays Wales on July 9. In addition, Falzon and Malta will travel to Venice for two pre-tournament exhibition games. Malta will take on the Italian U20 squad and the Swedish National Team.
Pool A is comprised of Andorra, the defending champion, San Marino and Gibraltar. Malta has placed third in each of the last two championships, the best finishes in the team's 13 appearances since 1988.
Falzon has played for Malta before, leading the U18 National Team to a gold medal in the 2009 FIBA European Championship C Division. He averaged 13.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in that tournament.
"We are very excited for this opportunity for Tevin," said Pioneer head coach Anthony Latina. "To be selected to play for your national team and to experience basketball at the international level will provide him memories that will last him a life time. In addition, I truly believe playing against this type of competition will greatly benefit Tevin upon his return to Sacred Heart this fall."
In two seasons with the Pioneers, Falzon has appeared in 50 games and averaged 4.3 points per game. As a rookie in 2012-13 he scored 5.2 points an outing, as he averaged 16 minutes a game in his 21 appearances. This past year Falzon appeared in 29 games, averaging 3.7 points an outing and playing nearly 16 minutes a contest.
The complete tournament schedule can be found at FIBAEurope.com. Gibraltar is six-hours ahead of United States Eastern Time, meaning the 4:15pm tip-off time on July 7, is 10:15 a.m. in Connecticut.