Over the course of international basketball history, few have dominated like the United States Men’s National Basketball Team. Since joining the International Basketball Federation in 1934, Team USA has won 34 gold medals across the Olympic Games, FIBA World Cup, FIBA Americas Championship, and the Pan American Games. Fans of the Westchester Knicks could soon be able to share in that greatness as the NBA Development League, which next season will be known as the NBA Gatorade League, will now play a major role in the chase for the next set of gold medals.
It was recently announced that a six-member selection committee will be responsible for selecting players from the D-League to play on the 2017-20 Men’s World Cup Qualification Teams. This will serve as an incredibly powerful opportunity for D-League players to showcase their talents on the world stage. It is expected that American home games will be held at NBA D-League arenas once groups are determined for the competition. Additionally, the FIBA World Cup will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics.
The first-round competition window dates are Nov. 20-28, Feb. 19-27 and June 25-July 3, 2018. The second-round dates are set for Aug. 30-Sept. 8, 2018; Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2018; and Feb. 18-26, 2019.
This unique search for players that will serve a major role in the immediate future of U.S. Men’s Basketball makes the 2017-18 season one of the most important to date. Each time a Westchester Knicks player takes the floor, they do so knowing that every moment could be their chance to play meaningful games for their country. The same can also be said about any opponent that the Knicks might face at the Westchester County Center. Opposing teams’ players will also be trying to prove that they have the skills required to represent Team USA. In addition to fighting for the chance to receive an NBA Call-Up, this new dynamic adds another major incentive for players. A new chapter is about to begin…stay tuned…