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2013 FIBA Americas: Gustavo Ayon leads Mexico into 2nd round

Atlanta Hawks center Gustavo Ayon helped lead Mexico to a 3-1 record in the preliminary round of the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Training Camps are about a month away from opening but Atlanta Hawks center Gustavo Ayon is already on the court and making his presence felt. Ayon is busy playing with Mexico's national team at the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament where they have gone 3-1 in preliminary play and have earned a spot in the second round.

Ayon has led the way leading the team with averages of 17.8 points and 9.5 rebounds in the four games. He scored 22 points and grabbed 18 boards in Mexico's tournament opening 65-56 win over Venezuela. Mexico finished second in Group B to Argentina and will begin second round play on Thursday.

The Hawks claimed Ayon off of waivers from the Milwaukee Bucks over the summer and figures to have the opportunity for playing time as part of the team's frontcourt rotation behind Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Ayon has played with three different teams in the NBA including New Orleans, Orlando and last season with the Bucks.

Despite bouncing around, Ayon recently indicated that he never really considered leaving the NBA for Europe this offseason and that he was grateful for his opportunity with Atlanta:

"Milwaukee didn't want my services, so they waived me and Atlanta came away with my services," the 6-foot-10 Ayon said. "I didn't have any illusions of returning to Europe this year. I came [to the NBA] for three years and we'll see what happens. If nothing is accomplished, we'll have to come to a decision and see what happens."

"It is always flattering when a team picks you," he said. "I think I had two or three options to go to and at the end we decided on Atlanta."

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