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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

USA Basketball heads to Abu Dhabi for World Cup warm-up

Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE via Getty Images

The U.S. men’s basketball team will play two games in Abu Dhabi this summer before heading to the Philippines for the World Cup.

The federation announced on Wednesday an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism as part of which the United States will bring Germany and Greece there in August for games.

The United States will host the three-match series, which will mark the first time the men’s national team will play in the United Arab Emirates. The Americans will play Greece on Aug. 18 and Germany on Aug. 20; Germany and Greece will play there on Aug. 19.

“USA Basketball is pleased to partner with DCT Abu Dhabi to bring USA Basketball to Abu Dhabi,” said USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley. “This is the first time our men’s national team will play in the UAE and we are excited to engage with fans from around the world, while also providing our players and coaches with an unforgettable experience on and off the pitch.”

The United States ranks second in the world in the FIBA ​​rankings, Greece ranks ninth and Germany ranks 11th. Team USA will unveil their World Cup roster this summer before gathering in Las Vegas for training camp led by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Miami assistant Erik Spoelster. La, Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers and Mark Fey of Gonzaga.

“This will be an unforgettable summer in Abu Dhabi and it is an honor to host the first USA Basketball Showcase in the UAE,” said Saleh Al Geziry, Director of Tourism, DCT Abu Dhabi.

The NBA played in Abu Dhabi for the first time last year, with Milwaukee — including Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could play in those games — and Atlanta playing two preseason games in October. Ahead of the 2023-24 season, the NBA plans to host two more preseason games in Abu Dhabi later this year.

NBA and USA Basketball return to United Arab Emirates Despite serious concerns about the country’s human rights record. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has spoken repeatedly about the value of “soft diplomacy” and promoting American culture through basketball when traveling to places like Abu Dhabi or China to watch games.

This will be Team USA’s second weekend of exhibitions abroad en route to the World Cup. Spanish officials announced earlier this year that the United States, Luka Doncic’s Slovenia and Spain would play in Malaga from Aug. 11-13 as part of the Spanish National Federation’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

Spain – the reigning World Cup champions in the FIBA ​​rankings – will face seventh-ranked Slovenia on August 11. The United States and Slovenia will face each other on August 12, and the United States will play Spain on August 13.

The World Cup will start on August 25th and run until September 10th. Games will be played in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan; the United States will play all games in Manila.

The draw for the World Cup is on April 29, when the 32 participating teams will find out who their first opponents will be.

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