Returning four members of the gold medalist 2017 USA Basketball AmeriCup Team and featuring 11 players currently active in the NBA G League, USA Basketball today announced the 12-man USA roster for the November first-round FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers. The team was selected by the USA Basketball World Cup Qualification Committee.
Returning to represent the United States are: Larry Drew II (Sioux Falls Skyforce); Reggie Hearn (Reno Bighorns); Xavier Munford (Wisconsin Herd); and AmeriCup MVP Jameel Warney (Texas Legends).
Rounding out the USA roster are: Markel Brown (Oklahoma City Blue); Semaj Christon (free agent); Jarell Eddie (Windy City Bulls); Amile Jefferson (Iowa Wolves); Kennedy Meeks (Raptors 905); Elijah Millsap (Iowa Wolves); Donald Sloan (Texas Legends); and Travis Wear (South Bay Lakers).
Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who led the USA to a 5-0 record and the gold medal at the Aug. 25-Sept. 3 FIBA AmeriCup Championship, will serve as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, while veteran international coach Mo McHone and former Georgetown University coach John Thompson III will serve as assistant coaches.
“USA Basketball has put together a versatile roster that has a mix of youth and experience highlighted by our four returning players from this summer’s AmeriCup gold medal team,” said Van Gundy. “Puerto Rico and Mexico are outstanding teams that are extremely well coached, and we will have our hands full in our games against them. We are excited about the challenge, and I know we all have great pride in representing our country.”
The USA will open training Nov. 17 in Greensboro, N.C., and will play two first-round games, versus Puerto Rico on Nov. 23 (7:30 p.m. EST) at the University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena in Orlando, and on Nov. 26 (5 p.m. EST) versus Mexico at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse in Greensboro, home of the Charlotte Hornets NBA G League affiliate Greensboro Swarm.
Tickets for the Nov. 26 USA-Mexico game at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse are available 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.
- Eight of the 12 USA players possess NBA experience, including – Brown (109 games); Christon (64 games); Drew (12 games); Eddie (31 games); Millsap (69 games); Munford (14 games); Sloan (218 games); and Wear (51 games).
- Seven players have USA Basketball experience – Brown (2011 USA Basketball World University Games Team trials); Drew (2017 USA AmeriCup Team); Hearn (2017 USA AmeriCup Team); Meeks (2010 USA Junior National Team minicamp); Munford (2017 USA AmeriCup Team); Sloan (2011 USA Pan American Games Team); Warney (2017 USA AmeriCup Team); and Wear (2008 USA U18 National Team).
- All 12 players boast of NBA G League playing experience, including 11 - Brown, Drew, Eddie, Hearn, Jefferson, Meeks, Millsap, Munford, Sloan, Warney and Wear - who currently are active with G League teams.
- Two sets of current NBA G League teammates are part of the USA Team: Texas Legends players - Sloan and Warney; and Iowa Wolves players – Jefferson and Millsap.
- Seven of the players have played professionally overseas: Brown, Christon, Drew, Millsap, Munford, Sloan and Wear.
The USA will train daily Nov. 17-20 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse. The American squad will continue its training on Nov. 21 at the Charlotte Hornets practice facility; then train on Nov. 22 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Following the Nov. 23 game against Puerto Rico, the USA returns to Greensboro for training on Nov. 24 and 25 and will close the November qualifying window with a game versus Mexico on Nov. 26 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse.
Following the November games, additional first-round World Cup Qualifying game windows are Feb. 22-26, 2018 and June 28-July 2, 2018.
The USA is slated to host Cuba on Feb. 23, 2018 (site and time TBD) and host Puerto Rico on Feb. 26, 2018 (site and time TBD).
In the third and final first-round window, the USA will at Mexico on June 28, 2018, and will conclude its first-round games on July 1 at Cuba.
After completion of the first round, the top three teams in each of the four, first-round groups advance to the second round. The top three finishers from Group A and Group C will form Group E, while the top three finishers from Group B and Group D will form Group F. The three second-round windows of competition will take place Sept. 13-17, 2018; Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2018; and Feb. 21-25, 2019.
Following completion of the Americas second-round games, seven teams will qualify out of the zone for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, including the top three finishing teams from second-round Group E and Group F, and the best fourth placed team between Group E and Group F.
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 (which now includes Oceania) and 12 European teams will qualify.
The FIBA World Cup for Men 2019 will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.
The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals - 5 gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), 3 silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and 4 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.
Members of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Committee include: Chair Sean Ford (USA Basketball), Trajan Langdon (NBA G League), Adam Simon (NBA G League), Gersson Rosas (At-Large), Brad Walker (NBA G League) and Damien Wilkins (Athlete Representative).