GENEVA/BEAVERTON/NEW YORK (2010 FIBA World Championship) – The growth and popularity of the FIBA World Championshis has resulted in warm-up events for the biggest international basketball tournament having to step up their efforts too.
USA Basketball and Nike did just that by creating the World Basketball Festival which will take New York by storm in mid-August.
The men’s national teams of Brazil, China, France, Puerto Rico and the USA – who are all headed to the FIBA World Championship in Turkey – will be on hand to provide all the basketball action fans can handle over the course of the four-day event in the borough of Manhattan.
The festival will open on Thursday 12th August with a scrimmage between members of the USA national team – on an open-air court set up in Times Square – and conclude with an exhibition double-header on Sunday 15th August at Madison Square Garden with the USA facing France, followed by China squaring off with Puerto Rico.
On 13th-14th August, the action will move to the legendary basketball courts at Rucker Park, in the neighbourhood of Harlem, where Brazil and Puerto Rico will hold open-air practices and scrimmages while France plan on going through a training session.
Over the course of those two days, a grassroots youth tournament will serve as a platform to showcase the very best of some of New York’s top summer basketball leagues. Fans will get a chance to participate in the basketball extravaganza through clinics designed to improve their skills.
The festival is set to reach its climax at the world famous Madison Square Garden on Sunday 15th August. The exhibition double-header will start with the USA taking on France before China go up against Puerto Rico, in what is sure to be an interesting preview of a Group C clash at the FIBA World Championship.
“The World Basketball Festival will be an unforgettable event for the people of New York city and basketball fans around the world,” said Nike Brand president Charlie Denson.
In addition to all the basketball action, music will play a big part too in the festivities with a concert by a surprise act in Times Square and performances by top international names at Rucker Park.
Tickets for the exhibition double-header go on sale on Saturday (11th June) and are available here and here.
The 2010 FIBA World Championship will tip off on 28th August.