The notion of Roy Hibbert securing permission from FIBA to represent the United States in international competition is no longer seen by interested observers as an outright impossibility.

Yet the consistent word in USA Basketball circles remains that Hibbert is a long shot to ultimately receive the needed clearance to make him eligible for the Team USA squad that will compete in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain or the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

And here's why:

Turns out there is a little-known FIBA bylaw that allows for Hibbert through USA Basketball to apply for permission to play for Team USA after appearing in one game for Jamaica in 2010 ... despite the fact that it's been drilled into us all for years that players who represent one country at senior level internationally do so knowing they are essentially ineligible to switch allegiances and play for another country later.

The little-known rule states that a player who has represented one country after the age of 17 may "exceptionally request" that FIBA allow him to play for another country's national team if that national team is "of the player's country of origin" and if the request is deemed to be "in the interest of the development of basketball in that country."

However ...

While Hibbert satisfies half of those requirements having been born a New Yorker I'm told USAB's pessimism stems from the fact that it would be a gargantuan stretch to convince FIBA that adding the Indiana Pacers' All-Star center to Mike Krzyzewski's roster would have even a sliver of impact on the state of the game in this country.