USA to Face Mozambique, Nigeria and Host Serbia in 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
FIBA today conducted the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments draw to determine the four-team pools for the next window of FIBA competition, and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team has been drawn into a group alongside Mozambique, Nigeria and host Serbia, and will compete against the three teams from Feb. 6-9 in Belgrade, Serbia.
In all, 16 teams qualified to participate in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments via zone qualifying competitions in 2019.
The remaining 12 nations have been selected to compete in the remaining three host cities as follows: Australia, Brazil, France and Puerto in Bourges, France; China, Great Britain, South Korea and Spain in Foshan, China; and Belgium, Canada, Japan and Sweden in Ostende, Sweden.
“I think that we have a really good pool of opponents for the next FIBA window,” said Dawn Staley, USA National Team and University of South Carolina head coach. All three teams are on the rise and getting stronger in international basketball competition. These games will continue to help our team prepare for Tokyo – not only will it give us a chance to build chemistry, it will give the committee another opportunity to evaluate some of the younger talent that we have.”
The USA will open against Serbia on Feb. 6, play Mozambique on Feb. 8 and Nigeria on Feb. 9.
Mozambique, which finished in fourth place at the 2019 AfroBasket, defeated Senegal in the final game of the 2019 Africa Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament to advance to the 2020 OQT. Mozambique last competed on the world stage at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Nigeria earned the 2019 AfroBasket gold medal and advanced to the OQT after earning a 3-0 record in the recent Africa Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Nigeria made history in 2018 when it became the first African team to ever make it into the quarterfinals in the FIBA World Cup’s 65-year history. The team fell to the USA in the quarterfinal round and finished in eighth place at the championship.
Serbia, which collected the bronze medal in its first Olympic appearance in 2016, earned bronze at the 2019 FIBA EuroBasket to advance to the OQT. Serbia got its first taste of World Cup action at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, where it finished in eighth place.
Prior to traveling to Serbia for the international games, the USA National Team will gather in Hartford, Connecticut, ahead of its winter collegiate games against University of Connecticut on Jan. 27 and the University of Louisville on Feb. 2.
In addition to the USA, which qualified for the Olympics as 2018 FIBA World Cup champion, Japan, as Olympic host, also has a berth to the 2020 Olympics. Both teams are utilizing these FIBA windows of competition as extra preparation for Tokyo next summer.
The 2019-20 USA National Team is 12-1 overall, having previously earned a 6-0 mark and the gold medal in September at the FIBA AmeriCup, a 3-1 record in its fall college exhibition schedule and a 3-0 slate in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, in the first FIBA window of Olympic qualifying games.
Rosters for both the collegiate and international competition segments will be announced at a later date.