USA Basketball to play Greece, Germany at Abu Dhabi
USA Basketball will play a pair of games in Abu Dhabi this summer on its way to the World Cup in the Philippines.
The federation announced an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday, and as part of that deal the U.S. will bring Germany and Greece there for games in August.
The U.S. will host the three-game series, and it’ll mark the first time that 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 thrilled to work with DCT Abu Dhabi to bring the USA Basketball Showcase to Abu Dhabi,” USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said. “This is the first time our men’s national team will play in the UAE and we’re excited to engage with fans from across the globe, while also offering our players and coaches memorable on- and off-court experiences.”
The U.S. is ranked No. 2 in the world by FIBA, with Greece No. 9 and Germany No. 11. The Americans will announce their World Cup roster this summer, before gathering in Las Vegas for training camp under coach Steve Kerr of Golden State and assistants Erik Spoelstra of Miami, Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers and Mark Few of Gonzaga.
“It’s set to be an unforgettable summer in Abu Dhabi and it’s an honor to host the first USA Basketball Showcase in the UAE,” said Saleh Al Geziry, DCT Abu Dhabi’s director general of tourism.
The NBA played games in Abu Dhabi for the first time last year, sending Milwaukee — including Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who presumably could be part of these matchups — and Atlanta there in October for a pair of preseason games. The NBA plans two more preseason games in Abu Dhabi later this year, in advance of the 2023-24 season.
It will be the second weekend of exhibitions abroad for the U.S. on its way to the World Cup. Spanish officials announced earlier this year that the Americans, Luka Doncic-led Slovenia and Spain are set to play in Malaga from Aug. 11-13 as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Spain’s national federation.
Spain — ranked No. 1 by FIBA and the reigning World Cup champion — will play No. 7-ranked Slovenia on Aug. 11. The U.S. and Slovenia will play Aug. 12, and the Americans will face Spain on Aug. 13.
The World Cup starts Aug. 25 and continues through Sept. 10. Games will be played in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan; the U.S. will play all of its games in Manila.
The World Cup draw, when the 32 participating teams will find out their opening opponents, is April 29.
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press