BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Michael Hawkins just left Greece in May, and now there's a chance he will be returning this month.
The former Xavier University guard, who played this past season for Olympiakos Piraeus in Athens, has been invited by USA Basketball to try out for the team that will represent the United States in the World Championships in August, his agent Anil Vaswani said Thursday.
NBA players originally selected to participate have elected to boycott because of the NBA owners lockout.
Hawkins will be one of 24 players attending a four-day tryout in Chicago, starting July 8. Twelve players will be picked for the new U.S. team, which will play two exhibition games in Monte Carlo and one in Rome before heading to Athens.
"It could be a great situation," Vaswani said. "He could become one of the most sought-after free agents this summer with a good performance over there (in Greece)."
Since returning from Greece, Hawkins has attended a free-agent workout for the Miami Heat and a free-agent camp for the Charlotte Hornets, where he averaged 8.6 points, 6.4 assists, 2.0 rebounds and just 1.2 turnovers in five games.
Hawkins, who got married last month, played 29 games for the Boston Celtics during the 1996-97 NBA season. He signed a two-year contract with Olympiakos, but he is unlikely to return to that team for next season, especially if he has an opportunity in the NBA.