Great Britain To Host USA Basketball Menís And Womenís National Teams In 2012 Friendly Games
March 22, 2011 ē Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Standard Life Great Britain menís and womenís basketball teams will play the reigning Olympic champion USA Basketball menís and womenís national teams in Manchester it was announced today by USA Basketball, the National Basketball Association (NBA), Manchester City Council and British Basketball.
With the Great Britain national teams recently securing a place in the London 2012 Olympic Games, the menís and womenís teams will play their USA Basketball counterparts in two friendly games at the 18,100 seat Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN) in July 2012 prior to the Olympic tournament. The game featuring the men's national teams will be part of the Global Community Cup, which includes all USA Basketball men's national team exhibition games played outside of formal international competitions.
ďI cannot think of a more exciting prospect for fans in the UK than to see Great Britain play the USA Basketball menís national team in Manchester in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics,Ē said Standard Life GB star and Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng.
ďThe USAĖGreat Britain games in Manchester will be a terrific prelude to London in 2012,Ē said USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo. "The games are key components of the training plan for the 2012 USA Basketball menís and womenís national teams. Iím sure that both USA teams will feature some of basketballís best players and coaches, and Iím confident the games will be memorable events for all basketball fans.Ē
The Great Britain national teams have made significant strides in recent years with GB men qualifying for two consecutive Eurobasket tournaments (2009 and 2011) and GB women qualifying for Eurobasket 2011 for the first time in team history. Deng and former NBA player Pops Mensah-Bonsu highlight the menís roster with Joe Leedham leading GB Women.
The USA Basketball menís and womenís national squads - from which the current Olympic and World championship teams were selected - include NBA All-Stars Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James, and WNBA standouts Sue Bird, Angel McCoughtry and Diana Taurasi.
The City of Manchester will host a series of premier basketball events in the coming years as part of a recently announced multiyear partnership between Manchester City Council, the NBA and USA Basketball.
The first game of this new partnership will see GB women play host to the Atlanta Dream of the Womenís National Basketball Association (WNBA) at the MEN on May 29 as part of WNBA Live Ė Manchester 2011. Fans that purchase tickets and attend WNBA Live Ė Manchester 2011 will be given limited priority access to buy tickets for the games featuring the GB and USA Basketball menís and womenís national teams. Tickets for WNBA Live Ė Manchester 2011 are on sale from today at www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.men-arena.com, or via phone at 0844 847 8000.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions. Since 2008, USA Basketball menís and womenís teams have compiled a sterling 96-2 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current menís and womenís champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; U19 and U17 FIBA World Championships; and U18 and U16 FIBA Americas championships. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.
About British Basketball
In December 2007 British Performance Basketball Ltd (BPB) came into existence following an agreement between UK Sport and the BBF with the aim of steering the Great Britain men's and women's basketball teams through to the London 2012 Olympics. At that time BPB was a wholly owned subsidiary of UK Sport established for the single purpose of processing World Class funding for the delivery of the GB programs. Following formal recognition of the British structure in December 2008, the operation of Great Britain teams is now managed by BBF's wholly owned subsidiary company British Performance Basketball Ltd (BPB). Both the British Basketball Federation and its performance company British Performance Basketball now trade under the title of ďBritish Basketball.Ē
The summer of 2008 saw British Basketball take further strides on the world basketball stage when the senior men's team, consisting of players with a world-class pedigree such as Luol Deng, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Joel Freeland and Andy Betts, compete in Group A of EuroBasket with the aim of securing one of the places available for the 2009 European Finals in Poland. Also in 2008 British Basketball's 'Game On' high performance strategy was finalized and approved by all the home nations. For the first time in Great Britain this strategy brought together all key stakeholders in developing a single coherent performance pathway to develop talented youngsters across Britain. This summer will once again see the GB senior men competing in the 2011 Eurobasket in Lithuania, however for the first time ever the GB senior womenís team have also qualified and will play in the womenís EuroBasket in Poland in June.
British Basketballís menís and womenís teams have been granted automatic qualification for the London 2012 Olympics by FIBA following a successful ĎSay Yesí campaign designed to raise awareness of the decision and support for the teams.
About Manchester City Council
As partner to the NBA and host of this series of games, Manchester continues to strengthen its impressive reputation for successfully staging major international sports events that bring long-term social and economic benefits to the City and its residents. Manchesterís excellent range of accessible sports venues and facilities, combined with its school and community sports development programs provide the springboard for sporting stars of the future and events such as these play a key role in the creation of sporting opportunities across the city. Manchester will continue to host major events that deliver real benefits to local people whilst also showcasing the city both as a vibrant place of national and international significance and as a global sporting hub. For more information on Manchesterís sports events program visit www.manchesterworldsport.com.