Upon the results of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Draw, the United States is liking its chances in their positioning for the group phase of the tournament.
For managing director Grant Hill, he can only be delighted to determine whom they will play for the first stage.
“It’s comforting to kind of know who we’re playing,” Hill said, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “The big unknown has been there since we started planning and preparing. And at least now we have an idea of who we’re playing and who we potentially could be playing in the second round.”
The Americans saw themselves landing in Group C even before the draw started, being picked by the host country Philippines to play in their home soil – specifically in Manila’s Mall of Asia Arena.
As such, they are slated to play New Zealand on Aug. 26, then face Greece and possibly Giannis Antetokounmpo on Aug. 28, and conclude group-stage play on Aug. 30 against Jordan. The mentioned three nations were selected for Group C.
Being a powerhouse nation, the United States got the utmost privilege and advantage for the entirety of the competition, as the final stage will occur in Manila, which won’t require them to travel.
But all eyes are certainly on their impending matchup against Greece, with Antetokounmpo set to potentially banner them. The fact that the Greek superstar got a long offseason to prepare after the disappointing downfall of the Milwaukee Bucks in this year’s playoffs in the hands of the Miami Heat, Hill expressed a little concern towards the anticipation of the duel.
“They were eliminated recently, so Giannis will have maybe a longer offseason than he’s had in recent years,” Hill said. “That’s scary.”
Eyeing to be back at the top of FIBA Basketball after a lowly top-seven finish back in 2019 in China, the U.S. will tap up Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr as their bench boss on the sidelines.