USA Basketball Draws Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan In FIBA World Cup

Tall Blacks head coach Paul Henare has welcomed New Zealand's tough draw at the 2019 FIBA World Cup

Canada was drawn into a tough Group H for the 2019 FIBA World Cup alongside Lithuania, Australia and Senegal.

The Americans are in Group E for the tournament that begins in China on August 31.

MANILA, Philippines - Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to have ever donned the U.S. colors, having won two Olympic gold medals and one FIBA Americas championship. "Obviously, you've got the National Basketball Association and you have winning a championship and all that good stuff, but with this, you're not just playing for your respective cities or where you're from, you're playing for an entire country you represent", said Harden.

The U.S.is the top-ranked team in the world and coach Gregg Popovich - taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, whose run as head coach ended with three Olympic gold medals and the last two World Cup championships as well - will head to China with a roster filled by National Basketball Association talent.

Every team in the 2nd round plays two games against the two team in their group they did not play against in the first round and the top two teams from there will secure a spot in the Quarter-Finals.

Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Turkey and Venezuela are in Pot 4 while Germany, Czech, Poland and Iran are in Pot 5. "So, it's pretty awesome to be a part of it".

Shea Ili on the drive for the Tall Blacks
SuppliedShea Ili on the drive for the Tall Blacks

Gilas Pilipinas, which needed to win its last two assignments and a Korea victory over Lebanon to push through, is making its second straight appearance in the World Cup.

Each team plays against the other three teams in their group once.

"I think you're gonna have to play, I think the mindset is that you're thinking that we have to be ready to play whoever comes through that door", general manager Rowan Barrett told The Athletic earlier this month.

The other four will reach Tokyo through qualifying tournaments over the next year. Japan, Jordan, Tunisia and the last African team to qualify, Ivory Coast make up teams in Pot 8. Bryant said he expects competition to be stiff, even for the Americans.

"It's a real sense of honour to be playing for your country".

Should New Zealand progress from Group play, they will cross over with Group E, those teams being USA, Turkey, Czech Republic and Japan.

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