El Khatib is not only the leader of the Lebanon team but for so long now has been the man around which so much has revolved.
His performances in the last decade or so have ensured his place in history as one of the most important players in the history of Lebanese basketball.
His presence in the team adds vital experience, craft and a huge amount of talent and it is also the case that he has been one of the best players in Asia during his time with the National team.
When you mention many great moments in Lebanese basketball, El Khatib is usually the man in the middle of all things good.
Not least their thrilling and legendary 74-73 win over France during the last FIBA World Championships when he scored a sensational 29 points.
He was scintillating on that night and the man they call ‘The Tiger’ reminded everyone that while he never followed another great Lebanese player Rony Seikaly into the NBA, he is still a class act and high level player.
So influential for so long, there are those who claim he has lost his quickness and a some of his sparkle in the last year or so and have questioned whether he can still be a force and whether the motivation remains for him to excel once again in a Lebanon vest.
If he does get onto the court, he will remain the heartbeat of this Lebanon side and some have even suggested it could even be his final bow in front of the adoring fans now he is a veteran player.
Always explosive, athletic and a ready-made scorer all over the floor, he perhaps now has to refine his game slightly to take into account the fact he is entering the latter stage of his career.
This does not necessarily mean his considerable influence on this team will evaporate – only that he can’t get it done himself all the time and is looking to find his team-mates more often than previously.
An interesting character for sure and can be one of the stars of the tournament if he shrugs off his injury concerns and comes to Turkey motivated, fresh and ready to add one more stunning chapter into Lebanese basketball history.
Even if he only plays half as good as he was in his absolute prime (especially against the tougher teams) – he will still bring plenty to the table.