25 August, 2023
10 September
5 Zach Lavine (USA), 7 Kevin Durant (USA)
to read

USA's Grant Hill on Draw: ''We know the level of preparation and focus we have to bring to the floor''

COLORADO SPRINGS (USA) - If the USA are going to return to the top of the podium and win a third FIBA Basketball World Cup since 2010, they are going to have to beat some familiar opponents.

On Saturday at the Draw in Manila, there were plenty of oohs and aahs when the USA ended up in Group C with Greece, announcing a much anticipated game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be on the floor for the Greeks to take on stars he faces in the NBA, everyone is going to be tuning in to watch. And the two national team have quite a history together at the World Cup. Greece is the national team that upset the USA at the 2006 World Cup in Japan.While the game took place 17 years ago in the Semi-Finals, that 101-95 Greek victory remains one of the most famous in international hoops history.

The other teams in the pool are USA's opening day opponents, New Zealand, a team they beat in the Group Phase at the 2014 World Cup in Bilbao, and Jordan.

One of the lasting images of that World Cup nine years ago was the USA players standing on the court and observing the Haka performed by the Tall Blacks.

For the USA, though, the First Round games are going to be just one of many hurdles that it has to clear if it is going to win the event again.

In a statement issued by USA Basketball, the national team's managing director, Grant Hill, said: "Following the 2023 FIBA World Cup Draw, we are excited to know what the first round holds as we look forward to the competition."

"This is one of the most arduous basketball tournaments in the world featuring some of the most gifted athletes and coaches in our game. We know the level of preparation and focus we will have to bring to the floor in Manila and are eager for the challenge ahead."

The USA were convincing winners against Greece at the 2008 Olympics, and at the 2019 World Cup in China, when Antetokounmpo played.

Steve Kerr, the USA coach, was an assistant to Gregg Popovich at the last World Cup, when the USA lost in the Quarter-Finals to France and finished seventh, and also at the Tokyo Olympics when they won the gold medal.

 Steve Kerr was a USA assistant coach at the 2019 World Cup in China

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, L.A. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue and Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Mark Few will be assistant coaches for the USA.

USA will begin their training camp in Las Vegas in early August before playing a series of warmup games as part of the USA Basketball Showcase.

Last month, USA Basketball announced Showcase games against Slovenia on August 12 and Spain on August 13 in Malaga, Spain, and with Greece and Germany on Aug. 18 and 20, respectively, in Abu Dhabi.