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Ante Zizic excused by Cleveland Cavaliers to return to Croatia for World Cup match

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will resume action in the NBA Summer League on Saturday, but Ante Zizic won’t be with them.

And for good reason.

Zizic, a second-year center from Croatia, was given permission by the Cavaliers to fly home and watch his native country take on France in its first World Cup soccer final Sunday in Russia.

Cleveland.com reported on the Cavs’ gesture Friday, saying the team offered him the chance to leave and the 21-year-old obliged, boarding a flight Friday morning and returning to his native land for the first time in nearly a year.

Croatia has won three straight games in extra time to advance to Sunday’s final, getting there with a 2-1 victory over England on Wednesday that left Zizic elated.

The Cavs take on Houston in summer league action Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Zizic, acquired by Cleveland as part of the Kyrie IrvingIsaiah Thomas blockbuster last summer with the Boston Celtics, saw limited minutes this past regular season for the Cavaliers. He’s averaging 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in summer league.



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