As we all know, we are just two short months away from the much anticipated FIFA World Cup in Rio this summer. But it turns out that soccer isn’t the only sport hosting a World Cup tournament this year - FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, will be hosting a worldwide competition this year in Spain.
The tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship will be held this year from August 30th through September 14th 2014 in various host cities across Spain, including Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Bilbao, Granada, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Known from 1950-2010 as the FIBA World Championship, for the first time this year the tournament will be known as the FIBA World Cup, communicating to the worldwide sports community that the prestigious international basketball tournament ought to be recognized alongside other global sporting competitions, such as the FIFA World Cup.
In preparation for the international tournament, the US National Basketball team announced they will play four late summer exhibition games in three different US cities, ending with a fifth outing in the Canary Islands just before the start of the World Cup there in Spain.
The US team is scheduled to play an intrasquad scrimmage August 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada; they’ll play Brazil August 16th in Chicago; tip off against the Dominican Republic August 20th and face Puerto Rico August 22nd at Madison Square Garden in New York City; and wrap up their their pre-Cup tour against Slovenia August 26th in Gran Canaria.
The US has been undefeated on the international court since the semi-finals of the 2006 World Championship tournament. After taking home the gold at the past two Winter Olympic Games and winning the most recent FIBA World Championship in 2010, the US National team is on a ravenous winning streak.
Basketball fans who regularly lament the end of the regular NBA schedule can now look forward to an early start to the 2014-2015 season with this summer’s FIBA World Cup. This year, World Cup sports are about more than just soccer!