USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team February Team Announced
Returning four players with previous USA World Cup Qualifying Team experience and including five players owning NBA regular season experience, following five days of training, USA Basketball today announced the 12 man roster for the February 2019 USA World Cup Qualifying Team.
Named to the USA World Cup Qualifying February Team were NBA G League players Josh Adams (Raptors 905), Kyle Casey (Memphis Hustle), Chris Chiozza (Capital City Go-Go), Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Michael Frazier II (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Reggie Hearn (Stockton Kings), Tanner McGrew (Salt Lake City Stars), Xavier Munford (Wisconsin Herd), Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm), Cameron Reynolds (Stockton Kings), Travis Trice (Austin Spurs) and Stephen Zimmerman (Westchester Knicks).
Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who has led the USA to an 8-2 record in FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying action and earned the United States a qualifying berth for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, again is head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team. Former University of Georgia head coach Mark Fox and former Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III again are serving as USA assistant coaches.
The USA team will play with a pair of home second round games, Feb. 22 versus Panama (3-6) and Feb. 25 versus Argentina (9-1). Both games will be held at the home of the NBA G League Greensboro Swarm – the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The full Americas World Cup Qualifying schedule/results is available at usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/schedule.aspx.
Tickets for the Feb. 22 USA-Panama and the Feb. 25 USA-Argentina games are available through https://www.ticketmaster.com, the Greensboro Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster’s charge-by-phone system at 1-800-745-3000. For additional ticket information https://www.usab.com/wcq.
Hearn, Munford, Reynolds and Trice return after playing with previous USA World Cup Qualifying teams. Hearn has suited up for the USA in four of the five prior World Cup Qualifying windows, including November 2017, June/July 2018, September 2018 and November/December 2018. The 6-foot-4 guard, who was selected USA Basketball’s 2018 Male Athlete of the Year, has started in four of the seven games he has played in and has averaged 10.7 points and 3.7 rebounds a game.
Munford and Trice have been part of two prior USA World Cup Qualifying team rosters. Munford returns averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 assists a game in his four World Cup Qualifying games, while Trice in his four games has averaged 12.5 points and 4.3 assists a game. Reynolds played for the USA November/December 2018 World Cup Qualifying Team and averaged 1.5 points in his two games.
Frazier, Onuaku and Zimmerman also own prior USA Basketball experience. Frazier was a member of the gold medalist 2013 USA U19 World Cup Team, Onuaku was a member of the gold medalist 2015 USA U19 World Cup Team, and Zimmerman was a member of the gold medalist 2014 USA U18 National Team and the 2015 USA Nike Hoop Summit team.
Five of the U.S. players have NBA regular season experience, including Cooke (13 games with New Orleans Pelicans); Hearn (three games with the Detroit Pistons); Munford (20 games with Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies); Onuaku (six games with Houston Rockets) and Zimmerman (19 games with the Orlando Magic).
With a total of seven 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying berths going to the top three finishing teams in each of the Americas two second round groups and to the best ranked fourth place team, Argentina (9-1) and the USA (8-2)
FIBA World Cup Qualifying
Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe initially competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifying first round, looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.
The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia and 12 teams from Europe.
The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals - five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA Men’s World Cup teams own an overall record of 123-27.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, Olympic host Japan automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.