Dragan Bender, a potential top-5 pick in 2016, was ruled out of the Under-19 World Championship due to his refusal to wear Jordan Brand shoes.
Bender has signed an exclusive deal with Adidas, which prevents him from wearing other brands of shoes under the terms of the contract.
“They said to me, if Dragan doesn't use Jordan Brand shoes, he can't play,” Bender's agent wrote to Draft Express. “We are very sad. He wanted to defend the colors of his country, but it looks like commercial reasons are above sport reasons. I am so sad for all his teammates his coach. They did a great job during the past three weeks (preparing for the tournament).”
David Hein of FIBA.com confirmed that Bender wouldn't play. From FIBA's story:
"Vladimr Vanjak, Croatia's head of delegation at the tournament in Heraklion (Crete), Greece, confirmed to FIBA.com that Bender will be leaving Greece on Sunday.
He said: "The fact is that Bender denied [refused] to play in the Jordan Brand shoes but our Federation has a contract with Jordan and everybody has to play in Jordan Brand. He denied to do that but he didn't say anything before coming here. That's the problem. I talked with my Secretary General and other people who made the decision because we have a very serious contract with Jordan. If he cannot play in Jordan Brand, he cannot play. That's it."