25 August, 2023
10 September
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Qualified Team Focus - USA: Aiming to return to the top

MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will be held in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. It is now time to meet the 32 teams that try to become World Champions in a few months.

Here is the number 2 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, the five-time World Cup champions United States of America.

How did they qualify

USA came into the Americas Qualifiers having collected the gold medal at the Toyko Olympics, but landed at seventh place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Former NBA head coach Jim Boylen was at the helm of the United States of America for the entire Americas Qualifiers campaign and he used 52 players to lock up USA's spot with one game to spare. The players predominantly came from the NBA G-League with some of them having significant NBA time. The list also included two former NBA stars - Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson.

Langston Galloway, who has played eight years in the NBA, appeared in 10 of the 12 games while the trio of William Davis, DaQuan Jeffries and David Stockton played in three or more windows.

Langston Galloway

The United States of America stumbled a bit out of the gates in November 2021 in a bubble in Mexico. They struggled to put away Cuba 95-90 and then lost to Mexico 97-88, failing to hold a 13-point lead late in the first half.

Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points in each of the games. For the second window, Boylen had only one player back from the first window but USA eased to two wins in February 2022 in Washington DC, beating Puerto Rico 93-76 and Mexico 89-67.

Team USA extended the winning streak to four games in the July 2022 window, beating Puerto Rico 83-75 on the road and winning 87-64 in Cuba -Justin Jackson scoring 26 points against Puerto Rico and Xavier Munford pouring in 24 against Cuba.

John Jenkins was the star of the August 2022 window as he collected 22 points in a 105-71 win over Uruguay in Las Vegas and dropped 26 points in a 95-77 win in Colombia. The United States of America lost a second game in the Qualifiers in the November 2022 window as Brazil came to the US capital and left with a win 94-79. Langston Galloway and David Stockton both scored 23 points as USA bounced back to beat Colombia 88-81 in Washington DC.


Boylen's men locked up qualification in the first game of the February 2023 window. But it took time as USA trailed Uruguay 21-7 after 10 minutes but ended up winning 88-77. Galloway starred once again with 21 points. United States of America lost the final game, dropping to Brazil 83-76 on the road.

Best result at the World Cup

The United States of America have never missed a World Cup and have won five titles. No other country has collected more. USA were crowned World Champions for the first time in 1954 and finished runners-up in 1950 and 1959.

In the five World Cups between 1963 and 1978, USA collected one third place finish (1974). They have gone home with a medal in eight of the last 10 editions, including as champions in 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014.


Last World Cup appearances

After a run of five podium finishes between 1982 and 1998, United States of America lost  in the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup 2002 to the eventual winners Yugoslavia on home soil in Indianapolis. They bounced back for third place in 2006 after losing to Greece in the Semi-Finals.

USA went undefeated to the title in 2010 and 2014. In 2019, they won all three games in the First Round - beating Czech Republic, Turkey in overtime and Japan - and also knocked off Greece and Brazil in the Second Round. But USA were bounced in the Quarter-Finals, losing 89-79 to France. They then lost to Serbia in the 5th-8th Classification and ended up seventh.


Players to watch


On June 6th, USA Basketball announced a very strong roster.


Bringing back memories of 2010, when the USA arrived with an entirely new team at the World Cup in Turkey and unleashed young talents like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Russell Westbrook on international basketball, this year's squad will have some of the hottest names in the game as it goes up against Greece, New Zealand and Jordan in Group C.

- Three 2023 NBA All-Stars with Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Jaren Jackson Jr
- The NBA 2023 Defensive Player of the Year, Jaren Jackson Jr
- The NBA 2023 Rookie of the Year, Paolo Banchero

Six players on that list were arguably the best players in 2022-23 for their respective NBA franchises. Haliburton had a great regular season with the Pacers (20.7 points and 10.4 assists), Edwards shone with the Timberwolves (31.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in six playoff games in 2023), Banchero was strong for the Magic (20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists), Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans (24.7 points 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists), Jalen Brunson rose to another level with the Knicks (27.8 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.9 rebounds in eleven playoff games in 2023) and Mikal Bridges had a great playoff run for the Nets (23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in four playoff games in 2023).

“On behalf of USA Basketball, I’m thrilled to introduce the 2023 USA Men’s National Team, which features some of basketball’s brightest talent,” said Grant Hill, USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director, in USA Basketball Press Release today. “We are excited for the challenges ahead and look forward to the opportunity to compete at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. I am confident that working together, and under the leadership of our outstanding coaching staff, this team will proudly represent the United States this summer in Manila.”