LEXINGTON (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Charlie Villanueva helped bring unprecedented attention to the Dominican Republic the past few summers as a player with their national team.
He is not in the squad for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), however.
After several days of speculation as to why the Detroit Pistons forward was not training with the Dominicans, national team coach John Calipari has explained why.
Calipari, who guided the team to a bronze medal last summer at the FIBA Americas Championship and then led the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA title, is working out with the Dominicans in Lexington.
Villanueva had a private workout for the Dominican Republic in New York and didn't leave a good impression.
"Charlie was not in good form when we saw him," Calipari said to Deportes en la Z.
"He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively.
"Last year, Charlie behaved really well with us and his only problem was his weight.
"An NBA player like him deserves respect and for respect, we have taken this decision.
"I enjoyed coaching him a lot.
"He is a great player."
Despite the absence of Villanueva, Calipari believes the Dominican Republic have a genuine shot at claiming one of the three places still on offer for the London Games when the team plays at the 12-team OQT in Caracas.
"We have the athleticism to play against anyone," he said.
"In the pre-Olympic tournament we will try to play at our best level.
"The group this year knows my style more than with respect to last year.
"They have a better notion of what needs to be done, there is more synergy with the coaching staff and there is great empathy between one (coaches) and the other (players)."
Two players that are pivotal for the Dominican Republic in Caracas are Francisco Garcia and Eulis Báez.
"Francisco has to average around 18 points per game to compete with teams of a certain level," Calipari said.
"His offense and that of Eulis are necessary.
"They have to give more and get more in the game."
As for the incorporation of Josh Asselin, who like Báez plays in Spain's Liga Endesa, Calipari said: "Asselin gives us another big man to give rest to Al Horford and to our captain, Jack Michael Martinez.
"That is why we brought him.
"He is a great professional, giving and ready for the cause."
Asselin last played for the Dominican Republic at the 2005 FIBA Americas Championship.
At the OQT in Caracas, which tips off 2 July, the Dominicans will play in Group C against Korea and Russia.