Big Nowitzki gets to carry the flag
Basketball star Dirk Nowitzki will carry Germany's flag at the olympic opening ceremony
Beijing -- Basketball star Dirk Nowitzki will be Germany's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, the German National Olympic Committee (DOSB) announced on Wednesday.
"We chose him because he represents the Olympic idea like no other athlete. It has been a dream of Dirk Nowitzki for years to be at the Olympics. This dream has now become reality," said Germany's chef de mission in Beijing, Michael Vesper.
"A global star demonstrates that it is a career highlight to compete with athletes from around the world and from many sports. This sends a signal and makes him a great role model for young athletes."
Nowitzki, 30, helped Germany reach the Olympics less than two weeks ago at a qualifying tournament in Athens.
The Dallas Mavericks star last year become the first player from Europe to win the NBA's prestigious Most Valuable Player award. He led Germany to second place at the 2005 European championships and to third place at the 2002 worlds.
Nowitzki will join an elite group of athletes chosen as flag bearers during the parade of 205 nations at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday in Beijing's National Stadium.