Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/26/12

Heading into the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament, there are the teams that are penciled in to make a serious run at a medal. Teams like the U.S., France, Argentina, and Spain are certainly going to be battling and leading the way for Team Argentina will be San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili.

Ginobili will be guiding Argentina to another medal but another South American team hoping to one day be considered a basketball power house is Venezuela.

Venezuela competed for a spot to play in London last summer in pre-Olympic qualifiers against Manu and Argentina but did not secure a spot. However, Ginobili heaped praise on the Venezuelan team and says their future is bright.

"Venezuela will mature as their soccer. It is a great team and it showed at their Olympic qualifiers. Greivis (Vasquez) is a great player, like Hector (Romero) and Oscar (Torres). They play at a high level on this team."

As Manu mentioned, New Orleans Hornets' Greivis Vasquez is a solid player and will be the face of Team Venezuela for the future. But Manu sees lots of great things about Greivis and feels he has a great pro-basketball future.

"He's a good guy. He has much ability to play in the NBA. He's a great person, I always knew that I have served as his inspiration. His future is enormous, he just has to work non-stop and he will see the fruits of his labor."

And the feeling is mutual. Vasquez has looked up to Manu as one of the best Latino players in the NBA and sees Manu as a shining example.

For [his] humility greets you, know your name. Knowing that I am a newbie comes and asks me, "[Greivis] hello, how are you?" Not all players are like that, coming out of his way to greet another. Perhaps they made with the same status, but not with a rookie.

So Ginobili is the best of all time in Argentina and I think not only for his work ethic and humility. He has an unblemished image.

You always want to match the best or follow a model and he is. Not just for Argentines, but in the world. When presented Ginobili in the games San Antonio is the most celebrated player. To me it means pride, because he is Latino.

He opened the doors of the NBA many Latinos.

Spurs fans should know all to well how good a player Vasquez can be. He helped the eighth-seeded Grizzlies upset the first-seeded Spurs in the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs.

But as far as Team Venezuela, Vasquez alone won't be enough if the team wants to compete with the world's great basketball team. He is a good cornerstone to build around, but more needs to be done if Venezuela wants its national anthem to be played during the medal ceremony.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dion Lewis signed extension to repay Patriots for giving him chance

Report: South Carolina to start Perry Orth at QB vs. LSU

Mark Giordano: Flames’ effort in opener was 'unacceptable'

LeBron James says he’s in same class as Michael Jordan

Report: Some Texans players have already 'checked out' on coaches

WATCH: Washington scores against USC with trick play


Andre Johnson, Colts down Texans in key division win

Claude Julien: Illegal hit on Patrice Bergeron warrants ‘further consequences’

Foster’s return to game after head injury raises questions

Lions owner Martha Ford is not happy with NFL about blown call on MNF

New details on Duke Williams dismissal

Baylor’s RG3 statue vandalized by TCU fans

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Matt Hasselbeck was ‘on his death bed’ before Texans game

WATCH: Jets' Burmistrov lays dirty hit on Bruins' Bergeron

Report: Cowboys ban filming offense in practice with Patriots next on schedule

Maryland HC Randy Edsall responds on Twitter to firing reports

Pacquiao says he is in talks with Mayweather about rematch

Wisconsin looks to bounce back against Nebraska

Jack Del Rio: Raiders will go after Peyton Manning, want to ‘take him down’

Charles Barkley will guest star on 'The NFL Today'

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Poor Royals grounds crew member gets eaten by tarp

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason; will return in 2016

Colin Kaepernick’s contract structure protects team from overpaying struggling QB

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason

Putin celebrates birthday by scoring seven goals in hockey game

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker