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Yao Ming
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
Rockets No. 1 draft pick Yao Ming of China and guard Oscar Torres of Venezuela will represent their respective countries when the most prestigious basketball event in the world, the World Basketball Championship for Men, tips off in Indianapolis on August 29, 2002. Conseco Fieldhouse and the RCA Dome will be the venues for this 11-day event, which will include teams from 16 countries playing a total of 62 games.




World Basketball Championship for Men Facts

  • Event Dates: Thursday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, September 8, 2002

  • Games: 62 games will take place over the 11 days of the event

  • Venues: Conseco Fieldhouse and the RCA Dome

  • Teams: 16 national teams from five continents, 15 qualified through zone tournaments and the United States as the host country. Countries include Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Lebanon, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, United States, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
    Oscar Torres
    Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
  • Pool Assignments: The 16 teams are divided into four groups for the preliminary rounds; pool assignments were done through a draw on Feb. 5, 2002. The first two rounds of the tournament are round robins, and teams advance to quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds, either through the medal or consolation rounds.

    Pool Assignments
    Group A Group B Group C Group D
    Yugoslavia Brazil United States Argentina
    Spain Turkey Germany Russia
    Canada Puerto Rico China New Zealand
    Angola Lebanon Algeria Venezuela


  • Format: Two ways exist for teams to qualify for the 2002 World Basketball Championship for Men. A country may qualify as the host country, as the United States will for the event. Another route is to qualify by finishing among the top teams in FIBA zone qualification tournaments.

    The FIBA zones are broken down into five regional areas: Africa (consisting of 53 National Federations), Asia (consisting of 44 National Federations), Europe (consisting of 50 National Federations), Americas (consisting of 43 National Federations), and Oceania (consisting of 21 National Federations). The number of teams qualifying per zone tournament varies from zone to zone.

    The tournament format will feature a round-robin competition in preliminary round play Aug. 29-31, and the top three teams from each preliminary group advance to form two second round groups consisting of six teams each. Each team's results against teams advancing from its preliminary group will carry over to the second round standings. Each team then will play the other three teams in the second round group whom they have not faced in the preliminary round.

    The second round, which will be contested Sept. 2-4, will feature the top three finishing teams from Group A and Group B forming one second round group, and the top three finishing teams in Group C and Group D forming the other second round group. The top four teams from those two groups will then advance on to the medal round quarterfinals Sept. 5, followed by the Sept. 7 semifinals and the gold and bronze medal games will be played on Sept. 8.

  • History: This is the first time the tournament has taken place in the United States in its 52-year history. The event is expected to draw between 150,000 and 175,000 basketball fans from across the United States and foreign countries. Past host countries are: Argentina (1950, 1990), Brazil (1954, 1963), Chile (1959), Uruguay (1967), Yugoslavia (1970), Puerto Rico (1974), Philippines (1978), Colombia (1982), Spain (1986), Canada (1994) and Greece (1998).


    Past Champions

    1950 Argentina 1978 Yugoslavia
    1954 United States 1982 Soviet Union
    1959 Brazil 1986 United States
    1963 Brazil 1990 Yugoslavia
    1967 Soviet Union 1994 United States
    1970 Yugoslavia 1998 Yugoslavia
    1974 Soviet Union

    Yugoslavia leads in gold medals with four and is tied with the United States for total medals at nine. Yugoslavia also claims three silver and two bronze medals. The United States has three World Basketball Championship titles to its credit, as does the former Soviet Union. The United States also has three silver and three bronze medals. The former Soviet Union has earned a total of eight medals, that includes three silver and three bronze. Rounding out the top six in total medal counts are: Brazil, two gold, two silver and two bronze; Argentina, one gold; and Russia, two silver (has only been competing since 1991).


    Eligible Players

    The following is a list of current and former NBA players eligible to participate for the qualified teams:

    ARGENTINA
  • Ruben Wolkowyski (formerly of the Dallas Mavericks)
  • Juan "Pepe" Sanchez (formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers/Atlanta Hawks)

    Dirk Nowitzki
    Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
    CANADA
  • Rick Fox (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Todd MacCulloch (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Jamaal Magloire (New Orleans Hornets)
  • Steve Nash (Dallas Mavericks)

    CHINA
  • Wang Zhi Zhi (Dallas Mavericks)

    GERMANY
  • Shawn Bradley (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)

    PUERTO RICO
  • Carlos Arroyo (formerly of the Toronto Raptors)

    RUSSIA
  • Andrei Kirilenko (Utah Jazz)

    SPAIN
  • Pau Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)

    TURKEY
  • Hidayet Turkoglu (Sacramento Kings)

    Jermaine O'Neal
    Al Bello/Getty Images
    UNITED STATES
  • Ray Allen (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Antonio Davis (Toronto Raptors)
  • Baron Davis (New Orleans Hornets)
  • Michael Finley (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Raef LaFrentz (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns)
  • Andre Miller (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers)
  • Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers)
  • Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)
  • Ben Wallace (Detroit Pistons)
  • Jay Williams (Duke University '02) - Alternate
  • Nick Collison (University of Kansas) - Alternate

    VENEZUELA
  • Oscar Torres (Houston Rockets)

    YUGOSLAVIA
  • Vlade Divac (Sacramento Kings)
  • Predrag Drobnjak (Seattle SuperSonics)
  • Zeljko Rebraca (Detroit Pistons)
  • Vladimir Radmanovic Seattle SuperSonics
  • Predrag Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings)
  • Ratko Varda (Detroit Pistons)