The biggest names in basketball will play in Australia this August when North American rivals, USA Basketball and Canada Basketball play a series of games across the country.
The games will be vital warm ups ahead of the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China, with each outfit to feature their final 12-man roster for the world championship.
USA Basketball’s encounter against Canada at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena will follow two massive games against the Australian Boomers at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in front of over 100,000 fans and will round out their preparation for China.
“Playing an outstanding opponent like Canada in Sydney is a fantastic way for the USA Men’s National Team to finish out its tour," said USA Basketball Men’s MD Jerry Colangelo.
“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 game and atmosphere around the game will again be very memorable.”
With the addition of these three games, Canada Basketball will play a total of five pre-World Cup games in Australia, having previously confirmed two fixtures against the Boomers in Perth on 16 and 17 August.
Canada Basketball General Manager Men’s High Performance Rowan Barrett said: “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.”
New Zealand is one of only five nations – joining USA, Serbia, Argentina and Spain – to have made it out of pool play in each of the past four Basketball World Cups.
The Tall Blacks last met Canada during a classic semi final encounter at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast where the later won on the buzzer, setting up two compelling affairs when they meet again in August.
Basketball New Zealand CEO Iain Potter said: “These games are an amazing opportunity for the Tall Blacks, but also for Basketball New Zealand to forge new and ongoing relationships.
"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.”
International Basketball Series 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