National teams will tear up NYC for pre-FIBA events
The roster for Team USA currently reads “Kevin Durant and...Kevin Durant?” but that shouldn’t stop you from getting excited about America’s team for the FIBA World Championships. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard could be considered doubtful, but even the second and third tiers of native NBA players could make a hell of a supergroup to take on the stars from other nations around the world.
They’ll do that in an official capacity in the Championships themselves, but will also compete in some preliminary events as part of the World Basketball Festival, which this be hosted this year in New York. From the Associated Press:
USA Basketball and Nike announced Wednesday that the inaugural festival will take place Aug. 12-15, with hopes it will return every two years in different locations in advance of the world championships or Olympics.
The Americans will face France, while China will take on Puerto Rico, in exhibitions at Madison Square Garden on the final day. Brazil, Puerto Rico and France will hold open practices and scrimmages at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park earlier in the weekend. The festival will benefit communities in New York by providing resources to help more kids play basketball.
The United States will start training in Las Vegas from July 19-24 and resume workouts Aug. 9-16 in New York. Then it’s on to Spain for games against Lithuania and the host country, followed by a matchup with Greece in Athens. The world championships are Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Istanbul, Turkey.