— USA World Cup Qualifying Games Return to Greensboro —
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 30, 2018) – USA Basketball and the NBA G League Greensboro Swarm today announced the return of FIBA World Cup Qualifying action to the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, N.C. USA Basketball and the Greensboro Swarm will team up to host the USA’s February second round home games of the FIBA World Cup Qualifying when the USA men face Panama on Friday, Feb. 22 (7 p.m. EST), and Argentina on Monday, Feb. 25 (7 p.m. EST).
The February second-round games mark the return of the USA World Cup Qualifying Team to Greensboro. The USA played its first home FIBA World Cup Qualifying game in Greensboro versus Mexico on Nov. 26, 2017, a game the USA men won 91-55.
Tickets for the Feb. 22 USA-Panama and the Feb. 25 USA-Argentina games at the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex go on sale at 10 a.m. (EDT) on Friday, Nov. 2 at www.ticketmaster.com, the Greensboro Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster’s charge-by-phone system at 1-800-745-3000. For additional ticket information visit greensboro.gleague.nba.com/usa/ or call 336-907-3600.
“USA Basketball is delighted to return to Greensboro and again partner with the Greensboro Swarm for the USA’s critical World Cup Qualifying second round games,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “Swarm President Steve Swetoha and the entire Greensboro Swarm organization did an amazing job hosting the USA’s first World Cup Qualifying home game and we look forward to playing our final two games in front of our fans who will help provide us with a great home court advantage.”
“We are thrilled that USA Basketball’s CEO Jim Tooley has decided to return to Greensboro and partner with the Swarm for the second consecutive year to host World Cup Qualifying games,” said Steve Swetoha, Greensboro Swarm President. “It is a true testament to the passion our region has for basketball and the strong support we have received to host another high-profile event with the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The Swarm and Hornets look forward to hosting and putting on a first-class basketball weekend for the final two games of qualifying at the Fieldhouse.”
Players selected to represent the USA in the World Cup Qualifying games are expected to primarily be from the NBA G League, the NBA’s official minor league, and will be selected by the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Committee.
Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who has directed the USA men to a 7-1 record to date in World Cup Qualifying play, returns as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team.
With seven 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying berths going to the top three finishing teams in each of the Americas second round groups and to the best fourth place team, Argentina (7-1) and the USA (7-1), after recording a pair of wins in the September Group E second-round play, are on top of the second-round Group E standings, followed by Puerto Rico (5-3) and Uruguay (5-3), with Mexico (3-5) and Panama (3-5) in fifth place. Group F standings see Canada (7-1) and Venezuela (7-1) tied for first, followed by Brazil (6-2), Dominican Republic (5-3), U.S. Virgin Islands (2-6) and Chile (1-7).
FIBA World Cup Qualifying second-round action will resume Nov. 29-Dec. 3. The USA will face a difficult task of playing road games versus Argentina on Nov. 29 and Uruguay on Dec. 2.
Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe initially competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifying first round looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.
The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia and 12 teams from Europe.
The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals – five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA teams own an overall record of 123-27.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, Olympic host, Japan, automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.