The biggest names in basketball will take the court during the international basketball series scheduled for Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in August, as Canada Basketball faces off against USA Basketball, as well as two games against New Zealand.
These games will serve as important preparation for all teams ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which is to be contested in China August 31 – September 15, with each outfit to feature their final 12-man roster for the world championship.
USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director, Jerry Colangelo, said the addition of the game against Canada after the two games against the Australian Boomers at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, is a fantastic way to finish the tour.
“Playing an outstanding opponent like Canada in Sydney is a fantastic way for the USA Men’s National Team to finish out its tour,” Mr Colangelo said.
“This game will not just be an opportunity to put the finishing touches on our pre-World Cup preparations, but it will be amazing for USA Basketball to return to Qudos Bank Arena where the USA men and women won Olympic gold medals in 2000.
“I have no doubt the games and atmosphere around the game will again be very memorable,” he said.
With the addition of these three games to their two games scheduled against the Australian Boomers in Perth, Canada Basketball general manager, men’s high performance, Rowan Barrett, said the games serve as great preparation for the upcoming World Cup in China.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to compete and gain familiarity against some of the top teams in the world in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
“The USA has been the gold standard in FIBA basketball for several years so this will be a great opportunity for our program.
“In addition, having the chance to play tough road games against Australia and New Zealand will be a valuable experience for our team on the road to the World Cup,” Mr Barrett said.
The New Zealand Tall Blacks will have a chance in the updated schedule to enact revenge against Canada before the World Cup, following an unexpected buzzer-beating shot from Mamadou Gueye in their semi-final matchup at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Basketball New Zealand CEO, Iain Potter, said games like these are a great opportunity for New Zealand Basketball as a whole, and for the individual players to prove themselves against NBA level talent.
“These games are an amazing opportunity for the Tall Blacks, but also for Basketball New Zealand to forge new and ongoing relationships,” he said.
“It speaks to our reputation on the international stage that we have secured such an invite to play alongside some of the world’s best teams and I know Pauli (head coach Paul Henare) sees the games against Canada as a great measuring stick for where the team will be at leading into the World Cup.
“This is also a great incentive for our players, a chance for them to show what they can do against NBA level opposition, as a team but also in their own careers – who knows what might come of such an opportunity,” Mr Potter said.
International Basketball Series Updated Schedule:
16 August 2019 – Australian Boomers vs. Canada Basketball – RAC Arena, Perth
17 August 2019 – Australian Boomers vs. Canada Basketball – RAC Arena, Perth
20 August 2019 – Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – Quaycentre, Sydney
21 August 2019 – Canada Basketball vs. New Zealand Tall Blacks – Quaycentre, Sydney
22 August 2019 – USA Basketball vs. Australian Boomers – Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
24 August 2019 – USA Basketball vs. Australian Boomers – Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
26 August 2019 – USA Basketball vs. Canada Basketball – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney