USA Basketball will face Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba in the first round of qualifying for the 2023 Basketball World Cup.
The Americans, who won a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo but finished only seventh at the most recent Basketball World Cup two years ago, found out their qualifying opponents Tuesday when the draw was held at FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland.
It will also be the first major tournament for USA Basketball with Grant Hill as managing director. Hill is succeeding Jerry Colangelo in that role; Colangelo oversaw each of the last four Olympics for the U.S., helping assemble teams that won gold medals each time.
The U.S. has won the World Cup five times, most recently in 2014.
There are 80 teams in the qualifying rounds. It begins with a double round-robin; all teams in the various groups for the first round will play the other three teams in their group twice. First-round games will be played during three different windows — Nov. 20-30, Feb. 21-March 1 and June 27-July 5.
Second-round games begin in August 2022 and run through February 2023. The next World Cup — to be hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia — takes place from Aug. 25 through Sept. 10, 2023.
Defending World Cup champion Spain, trying to become one of the 12 European qualifiers for the tournament, opens with games against Ukraine, Georgia and North Macedonia in the opening round.
As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are already in the 32-team World Cup field….