• Kaunda Chama

Ten African NBA players in FIBA Basketball World Cup


Ten NBA players with African roots are amongst the record 54 current NBA players that will be featured on national team rosters at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

The national team rosters feature current NBA players from 21 NBA teams that include Nicolas Batum (Cameroon/France), Evan Fournier (Algeria/France), Frank Ntilikina (Rwanda/France), Dennis Schroder (Gambia/France), brothers Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Nigeria/Greece), Rui Hachimura (Benin/Japan), Al-Farouq Aminu (Nigeria), Chimeze Matu (Nigeria), and Josh Okogie (Nigeria).

The tournament, which tipped off Saturday, Aug. 31, will feature a record 103 combined current NBA players, NBA draftees, and players with NBA experience, up from 92 in 2014.

National team rosters feature current NBA players from 21 teams, and 25 of the 32 participating national teams feature at least one current NBA player, NBA draftee or a player with NBA experience.

The Boston Celtics have six current NBA players in the tournament, while the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings each have five. The Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs each have four current NBA players in the tournament.

Outside of the United States, France and Serbia have the most current NBA players with five each, while Australia and Spain each feature four current NBA players.

There are more than 50 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers on national team rosters, including 11 current NBA players. BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has been conducted annually since 2001 and has seen 69 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents.

For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will feature an expanded field of 32 teams, up from 24 in the previous three World Cups. A total of 80 national teams across four regions - Africa, Americas, Europe and Asia (which includes Oceania) - competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.

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