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Isaiah Thomas

Justin Anderson and Isaiah Thomas Added to November 2021 USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team Roster

  • Date:
    Nov 19, 2021

USA to Open 2021-23 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Play in Mexico Versus Cuba on Nov. 28 and Mexico on Nov. 29


USA Basketball and NBA veterans Justin Anderson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Virginia) and Isaiah Thomas (free agent/Washington), today were added by USA Basketball to its November 2021 USA World Cup Qualifying Team. The pair were added to the USA roster after an injury forced DaQuan Jeffries (College Park Skyhawks/Tulsa) to withdraw, and after Frank Mason III (South Bay Lakers/Kansas) was not cleared for full participation. 


Anderson and Thomas join previously announced USA team members 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), Orlando Johnson (free agent/UC Santa Barbara), Luke Kornet (Maine Celtics/Vanderbilt), Chasson Randle (free agent/Stanford), Zavier Simpson (Oklahoma City Blue/Michigan) and Emanuel Terry (Stockton Kings/Lincoln Memorial).


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 here.


Anderson previously was part of the February 2020 USA Basketball Men’s AmeriCup Qualifying Team that went 2-0. Starting in both games, he averaged 20 minutes, a team second-best 14.0 points and 5.0 rebounds a game. Anderson also owns additional USA Basketball experience having been a member of the 2019 USA Select Team that trained against the 2019 USA World Cup Team finalists in Los Angeles, as well as the 2010 USA U17 World Cup Team and the 2009 USA U16 National Team that won gold medals.


Thomas started both games for the USA in the February 2021 AmeriCup Qualifying window, leading the USA to wins over Bahamas (93-77) and Mexico (95-76). He averaged 21.0 minutes, a team-high 14.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game, while shooting 43.5% from the field, 50.0% (6-12 3pt FGs) from 3-point and 66.7% from the foul line. Additionally, Thomas participated in the 2018 USA Basketball Men’s National Team minicamp.


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), Orlando Johnson (103 games with Indiana, New Orleans, Phoenix and Sacramento), B.J. Johnson (17 games Atlanta, Orlando and Sacramento), Bowen (12 games with Indiana), Gray (7 games with New Orleans and Phoenix) 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. 



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