Haywood Highsmith Added to November 2021 USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Roster
USA Basketball today announced a roster change for the November 2021 USA World Cup Qualifying Team with the addition of NBA G League forward Haywood Highsmith (Delaware Blue Hens/Wheeling) after Orlando Johnson (free agent/UC Santa Barbara) was not available to participate.
Previously named USA team members include Justin Anderson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Virginia), Jordan Bell (Santa Cruz Warriors/Oregon), Brian Bowen II (Iowa Wolves), Josh Gray (Long Island Nets/LSU), Shaq Harrison (Delaware Blue Coats/Tulsa), BJ Johnson (Lakeland Magic/LaSalle), Luke Kornet (Maine Celtics/Vanderbilt), Chasson Randle (free agent/Stanford), Zavier Simpson (Oklahoma City Blue/Michigan), Emanuel Terry (Stockton Kings/Lincoln Memorial) and Isaiah Thomas (free agent/Washington).
Former NBA head coach Jim Boylen will serve as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, and USA Basketball experienced coaches Ty Ellis and Othella Harrington will serve as assistant coaches.
The USA squad will train Nov. 20-25 at the University of Houston and will participate in the first competition window of the 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying games, which will be played in a bubble format in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Americans will face Cuba on Nov. 28 (5:30 p.m. EST) and will meet host Mexico on Nov. 29 (9 p.m. EST). The full 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying schedule is available at https://www.usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/schedule.aspx.
Eleven USA players have NBA regular season experience, including Thomas (528 games with Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans, Phoenix, Sacramento and Washington), Anderson (226 games with Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas and Philadelphia), Harrison (173 games with Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Utah), Bell (160 games with Golden State, Minnesota, Memphis and Washington), Kornet (133 games with Boston, Chicago and New York), Randle (119 games with Golden State, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia and Washington), Johnson (17 games Atlanta, Orlando and Sacramento), Bowen (12 games with Indiana), Gray (7 games with New Orleans and Phoenix), Highstreet (5 games with Philadelphia) and Terry (3 games with Miami and Phoenix).
2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying
Featuring 16 national teams from North America, Central America, South American and the Caribbean, the 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament for the Americas zone features four preliminary round groups, and each group consists of four teams. The top three finishing teams from each group will qualify for the second round. Following the second round, the three best finishing teams from each group, and the top fourth-placed team, will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
The USA was drawn into Group D, and is joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group A consists of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Venezuela; Group B is made up of Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay; and Group C consists of Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic and U.S. Virgin Islands.
A total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers over 15 months, looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team FIBA World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 25-Sept. 10, 2023, in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup marks the first time multiple countries will host the event.
Under the FIBA World Cup qualifying format, two games per window will be played and a total of six windows will be held to qualify teams for the 2023 World Cup. Each competition window is nine days. The first-round competition windows dates are: Nov. 22-30, 2021; Feb. 21-March 1, 2022; and June 27-July 5, 2022; while the second-round dates are set for Aug. 22-30, 2022; Nov. 7-15, 2022; and Feb. 20-28, 2023.
Each FIBA zone will qualify a set number of teams for the 2023 World Cup. Japan and the Philippines automatically will qualify for the 2023 World Cup as host countries, and Indonesia automatically will qualify as a host if it is among the best eight teams out of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. Additionally, the top five finishing teams in Africa; the top seven placing teams in the Americas; the top five or six finishing teams in the Asia/Oceania zone, depending on Indonesia’s results at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup; and the top 12 finishing teams from Europe will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
At the 2017-19 FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying, the USA finished atop of the second round Group E, compiling a 10-2 overall record to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.