At the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the US men’s basketball team were knocked out of the medal race by France en route to their worst major tournament result of all time with a seventh place finish.
His first opponent at the Tokyo Olympics on July 25: France.
The American women and men learned their groups for the Tokyo Games as FIBA held their draw on Tuesday.
The top-ranked Americans, winners of their last 49 Olympic Games (48 in double digits) are grouped together with France, Japan and their first opponent, Nigeria, on July 27.
France is the only nation other than the United States to have reached the last two women’s Olympic semi-finals. French player pool includes former UConn who could have been successful Sue Bird as the next great American leader.
The American men are grouped together with France, Iran and the winner of a last-ditch qualifying tournament in Victoria, B.C., potentially Canada.
Canada and France have the highest number of NBA players after the United States.
– FIBA (@FIBA) February 2, 2021
In a change, the Olympic basketball tournaments will each have three groups of four teams. Previously, these were two groups of six teams.
The top two teams from each group, as well as the top two third-party teams, advance to the quarter-finals.
The American women are aiming for a seventh consecutive Olympic title to equal the basketball record held by American men’s teams in the first seven Olympic tournaments of 1936-68.
Dawn Staley is the new head coach, succeeding Geno Auriemma, with the usual overflow of talent into the player pool. List of 12 should include quadruple gold medalists Diana Taurasi and Bird.
Gregg Popovich success Mike Krzyzewski as a male head coach. List options are on hold given the tight turnaround of the NBA season.
A potential NBA Finals Game 7 would take place the day before the opening ceremony on July 23.
USA Basketball has not announced any parameters for the selection of players, but those of the teams that will advance to the conference final could be totally excluded from Olympic consideration as a training camp is scheduled for earlier in July.
So far, no NBA superstar has publicly committed or ruled out accepting a spot on the U.S. Olympic list if offered.
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