COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Basketball and the NBA G League Greensboro Swarm today announced the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse in Greensboro, N.C., will host the USA’s inaugural home game of the FIBA World Cup Qualifying first-round when the USA men face Mexico on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m. (EST).
Tickets for the Nov. 26 USA-Mexico game at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Fieldhouse go on sale at 10 a.m. (EDT) on Friday, Oct. 6 at www.ticketmaster.com, the Greensboro Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster’s charge-by-phone system at 1-800-745-3000.
“USA Basketball is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Greensboro Swarm for the USA World Cup Qualifying Team’s Nov. 26 game versus Mexico,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “The USA-Mexico game will be historic in that it will be the USA’s first home game of FIBA World Cup Qualifying play. It will offer basketball fans a rare opportunity to cheer the USA on in a meaningful home game and I am confident it will be an electrifying atmosphere.”
“We could not be more excited to have this phenomenal opportunity to host a USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying game here in Greensboro,” said Greensboro Swarm president Steve Swetoha. “It’s a testament to the passion our market has for basketball and the wonderful support we have received that we are able to execute such a high-profile event in just our second season. The Swarm and Hornets Sports & Entertainment look forward to hosting this game with the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and putting on a great event for our fans.”
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 recently directed the USA men to a gold medal finish in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017, will serve as head coach of the USA Basketball men’s national teams for at minimum the first four FIBA World Cup Qualifying windows between November 2017 and September 2018.
Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (which now includes Oceania) and Europe will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers over 15 months looking to earn a qualifying berth in the 32-team World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.
The USA men were drawn into Group C for the Americas’ zone World Cup Qualifying first-round and are joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The United States is scheduled to open World Cup Qualifying play facing Puerto Rico in San Juan on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, and the USA will host Mexico in Greensboro on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017.
The second first-round window features the USA playing home games (USA sites TBA) against Cuba on Feb. 23, 2018, then versus Puerto Rico on Feb. 26, 2018. The third and final first-round window will see the USA travelling to play Mexico on June 28, 2018, and Cuba on July 1, 2018 (the full Americas World Cup Qualifying schedule is available at http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldcup/2019/americas-qualifiers/groups).
The top three finishing teams from each of the four America’s World Cup Qualifying first-round groups will advance to form two second-round groups consisting of six teams each. The top three finishing teams in each second-round group, and the highest-ranked fourth-place team, will earn qualification berths to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2019 World Cup based on finishes in the zone World Cup qualifiers. The top seven placing teams in the Americas, the top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven finishing teams plus host China in the Asia zone; and the top 12 finishing teams from Europe will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will then qualify seven teams for the 12-nation 2020 Olympic Tokyo Games. The seven qualifying berths for the 2020 Olympics have been designated for the top World Cup Africa zone finisher, and the top two World Cup Americas zone finishers, the top World Cup Asia zone finisher, the top two World Cup European zone finishers and the top World Cup Oceania finishing team qualify. Japan earns an automatic qualifying berth as the host country, and the remaining four Olympic berths will be determined through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to be held in 2020.
USA National Teams currently are the three-time defending Olympic champions (2008, 2012, 2016) and two-time FIBA World Cup champs (2010, 2014).