By Steve Drumwright | March 16, 2019, 10:57 a.m. (ET)
The U.S. men's basketball team celebrates during the award ceremony at the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship on Sept. 14, 2014 in Madrid.


The U.S. Men’s Basketball Team now knows it will begin a quest for an unprecedented third straight FIBA World Cup title against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1.

Joining the U.S. and Czech Republic in Group E are Turkey and Japan. The draw for the 32-team tournament took place Saturday in Shenzhen, China. Eight cities in China will host four-team groups, with the U.S. playing its first three games in Shanghai. The Americans, who won the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 and would be the first country to capture three consecutive championships, will face Turkey on Sept. 3 and Japan on Sept. 5.

The championship game is Sept. 15 in Beijing. Seven nations will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 based on their World Cup placement, including the top two from the Americas.

The U.S. is ranked No. 1 in the world and advanced to the World Cup by going 10-2 in two rounds of qualifying. While the qualifying team was made up of primarily of G League players, the stars will come out for the World Cup. Among the players expected to be on Team USA — coached by Gregg Popovich — are LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Anthony Davis.

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Training camp will begin in early August with a pool of 35 players.

“As a basketball player, that’s one of the highest points you can get for basketball,” Harden told The Associated Press about representing USA Basketball. “Obviously, you’ve got the NBA and you have winning a championship and all that good stuff, but with this, you’re not just playing for your respective cities or where you’re from, you’re playing for an entire country you represent. So, it’s pretty awesome to be a part of it.”

Steve Drumwright is a journalist based in Murrieta, California. He is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.