The USA men's basketball team are set to play two exhibition games in Abu Dhabi this summer in the run-up to the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
It was announced on Wednesday that Team USA, Germany and Greece will play in a three-team series following an agreement between USA Basketball and the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.
The Americans will play Greece on August 18 and Germany two days later; while Germany and Greece tip-off on August 19, all ahead of the FIBA World Cup, which begins the following week in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Team USA will be coached by nine-time NBA champion Steve Kerr, who won five titles as a player (three with Chicago Bulls and two San Antonio Spurs) and four as head coach (with Golden State Warriors).
“USA Basketball is thrilled to work with DCT Abu Dhabi to bring the USA Basketball Showcase to Abu Dhabi,” Jim Tooley, chief executive of USA Basketball, said after an agreement was signed in Berlin on Wednesday.
“This is the first time our Men’s National Team will play in the UAE and we’re excited to engage with fans from across the globe, while also offering our players and coaches memorable on and off-court experiences.
“We are grateful to the national federations of Greece and Germany for their participation as we prepare for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, arguably the toughest international tournament in basketball.”
Abu Dhabi hosted two NBA games between Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks at Etihad Arena in October 2022 that marked the beginning of its multi-year partnership with the capital.
Saleh Al Geziry, director general of tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “It’s set to be an unforgettable summer in Abu Dhabi and it’s an honour to host the first USA Basketball Showcase in the UAE.
“We look forward to welcoming players and fans from the USA, Germany and Greece, to cheer on their national teams and to discover a wide range of experiences in Abu Dhabi that inspire, excite and restore."
The World Cup that follows the Abu Dhabi exhibition games will be the first to be hosted by more than one nation and sees 32 teams taking part. Spain are the defending champions after beating Argentina in 2019.
Ingo Weiss, president of the German Basketball Federation, said: “It's really great for us to be able to play the USA and Greece in Abu Dhabi just before the FIBA World Cup.
“Abu Dhabi is an excellent location for such a top-class basketball event and is developing more and more into a real sports stronghold. The DBB is very much looking forward to our time in the UAE and the great games there."
Vangelis Liolios, president of the Hellenic Basketball Federation, said: “We are excited to be part of such a great celebration of basketball.
“Three continents will meet on the eve of the 2023 World Cup thanks to DCT Abu Dhabi. The Hellenic Basketball Federation accepted the invitation with a mix of joy and excitement for this double encounter with the USA and Germany.
“We are looking forward to an amazing experience on and off the court. Our men’s national team will be ready to enjoy the game, hoping to bring smiles to the fans.”
Tickets will go on sale this spring, but fans can register for updates on https://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023.