The FIBA Basketball World Cup starts on Friday 31st August & runs until the 15th September. Unfortunately there will be no GB team as we failed to qualify.
However if you fancy following someone as Magic fans we have representation in four teams.
Ranking number 1 in the world is obviously Team USA. Containing a team full of NBA players (but not the huge stars of Olympic teams) they are the favourites by a huge margin.
Serbia, led by Nikola Jokic, are very strong contenders, as are Spain & France. Australia could do well & have just handed the USA a shock defeat in a friendly exhibition game.
WHO IS PLAYING IN THE WORLD CUP?
Group A: China (hosts), Venezuela, Poland, Ivory Coast
Group B: Russia, Argentina, South Korea, Nigeria
Group C: Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico, Tunisia
Group D: Angola, Philippines, Italy, Serbia
Group E: United States, Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan
Group F: Greece, New Zealand, Brazil, Montenegro
Group G: Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Jordan
Group H: Canada, Senegal, Lithuania, Australia
WHO TO FOLLOW?
In Group B our new man Al-Farouq Aminu represents Nigeria.
In Group F our All-Star Nikola Vucevic leads the Montenegro team.
In Group G & bringing a wealth of international experience is Evan Fournier for France.
In Group H we have representation in Team Canada from Khem Birch.
This World Cup tournament is a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics, which are being held in Tokyo. Seven teams will qualify to play in Tokyo based on their finish at this World Cup, being two from the Americas, two from Europe & one from each of the regions of Africa, Asia & Oceania.
The remaining four Olympic spots will be decided in four qualifying tournaments in July 2020. The only spot already secured for the 12 team Olympic tournament in Tokyo is that of Japan, who automatically qualified as hosts.
How To Watch
As a final note to watch this World Cup in the U.K. you will need to have access to Live Basketball TV, at a cost of £8.99 for the period. I imagine that with some online searching there will be live streaming.
An app is available for the tournament. You can tailor to your team or favourite players & has the full games schedule.
For me I hope our guys stay injury free. It is an opportunity for Fournier to regain his confidence in his shot which can only help our upcoming campaign.