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NBA D-League Players to Represent USA in World Cup Qualifying Games

Official Release | May 2, 2017

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 2, 2017) — USA Basketball today announced a six-member 2017-20 USA Basketball World Cup Qualification Committee which will be responsible for the selection of players who will comprise the 2017-20 USA Men’s World Cup Qualification Teams. Players selected to represent the USA in the World Cup Qualifying games are expected to primarily be from the NBA Development League, which will be known as the NBA Gatorade League beginning with the 2017-18 season.

The USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Committee is comprised of appointees by USA Basketball and the NBA Development League, and also includes one former USA Basketball athlete and one at-large representative.

USA Basketball Men’s National Team director Sean Ford will serve as a non-voting chair of the committee. Additional members of the committee include: Tony Bollier, NBA D-League Player Personnel and Coach Relations Manager; Trajan Langdon, a former USA Basketball player and current NBA D-League Long Island Nets general manager and NBA Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager; Adam Simon, NBA D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce general manager and NBA Miami Heat assistant general manager; Gersson Rosas, Houston Rockets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and 2015-16 USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team international player personnel scout; and one athlete representative to be announced.

“With USA Basketball entering the new FIBA qualification system for the men’s 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympic competitions, we’re excited to work with the NBA Development League to field competitive teams for the 2017-19 USA’s World Cup qualifying games. The USA Basketball World Cup Qualification Committee features appointees with outstanding basketball experience who will have the important task of selecting USA Basketball teams to compete in this new system,” said USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley.  “This will be an excellent opportunity for NBA D-League players to showcase their talent and experience meaningful and important international competition while representing the United States.”

“The NBA D-League prides itself on providing athletes with opportunities to develop and compete at a high level,” said NBA D-League president Malcolm Turner.  “We’re excited for representatives from our league to work hand in hand with USA Basketball to field a successful team filled with NBA D-League players to represent the USA in the World Cup Qualifying Games,”

Under FIBA’s new competition format, the next FIBA Basketball World Cup will be played in 2019 and then held every four years.  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 looking to earn a qualifying berth in the 32-team World Cup competition. The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

FIBA’s new competition and qualifying system starts in 2017 and under the new qualifying format, national teams will be drawn into four-team groups and play home and away games within their zone to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA Continental Cups 2021. Two games per window will be played and a total of six windows will be held to qualify teams for the 2019  World Cup. Each competition window is nine days. The first-round competition windows dates are: Nov, 20-28, 2017; Feb. 19-27, 2018; and June 25-July 3, 2018; while the second-round dates are set for August 30-Sept. 8, 2018; Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2018; and Feb. 18-26, 2019.

Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2019 World Cup based on their finish in the qualifiers. The top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven placing teams in the Americas, 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 Africa zone finisher, and the top two Americas zone finishers, the top Asia zone finisher, the top two European zone finishers and the top 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 are the three-time defending Olympic champions (2008, 2012, 2016) and two-time FIBA World Cup champs (2010, 2014).