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Knicks’ Stephen Zimmerman Named to USA World Cup Qualifying February Team

By ahawleyalexander | February 19, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – February 19, 2019 – Stephen Zimmerman of the Westchester Knicks, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, has been named to the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying February Team as announced by USA Basketball today. Zimmerman joins a 12-man roster prior to a pair of home second round games.

“I’m super excited,” Zimmerman explained. “I won a gold medal with Team USA in high school and have been waiting to be able to put the uniform back on. I’m ready to go!”

Zimmerman was a member of the gold medalist 2014 USA U18 National Team and the 2015 USA Nike Hoop Summit team.

Along with the Knicks’ big man, NBA G League players Josh Adams (Raptors 905), Kyle Casey (Memphis Hustle), Chris Chiozza (Capital City Go-Go), Charles Cooke (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Michael Frazier II (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Reggie Hearn (Stockton Kings), Tanner McGrew (Salt Lake City Stars),  Xavier Munford (Wisconsin Herd), Chinanu Onuaku (Greensboro Swarm), Cameron Reynolds (Stockton Kings), and Travis Trice (Austin Spurs) were also named to the USA World Cup Qualifying February Team.

Former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy, who has led the USA to an 8-2 record in FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying action and earned the United States a qualifying berth for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, again is head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team. Former University of Georgia head coach Mark Fox and former Georgetown University head coach John Thompson III again are serving as USA assistant coaches.

The USA team will play with a pair of home second round games, Feb. 22 versus Panama (3-6) and Feb. 25 versus Argentina (9-1). Both games will be held at the home of the NBA G League Greensboro Swarm – the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The full Americas World Cup Qualifying schedule/results is available at usab.com/mens/wc-qualifying/schedule.aspx.

Tickets for the Feb. 22 USA-Panama and the Feb. 25 USA-Argentina games are available through https://www.ticketmaster.com, the Greensboro Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster’s charge-by-phone system at 1-800-745-3000. For additional ticket information https://www.usab.com/wcq.

With a total of seven 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying berths going to the top three finishing teams in each of the Americas two second round groups and to the best ranked fourth place team, Argentina (9-1) and the USA (8-2) from second-round Group E, and Venezuela (9-1) and Canada (8-2) in Group F already have captured a qualifying berth for 2019 FIBA World Cup. Puerto Rico (6-4) and Uruguay (6-4) in Group E and Brazil (7-3) and Dominican Republic (6-4) in Group F remain in contention for the last three Americas qualifying berths. Group E teams Mexico (3-6) and Panama (3-6), and Group F teams Chile (2-8) and U.S. Virgin Islands (2-8) no longer are in contention for a World Cup qualifying berth.

The Westchester Knicks return to the County Center tomorrow, February 20 for a 7 PM battle against the Maine Red Claws.

FIBA World Cup Qualifying

Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe initially competed in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifying first round, looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia and 12 teams from Europe.

The current two-time defending World Cup champion USA men have participated in 17 FIBA World Cups and have collected 12 medals – five gold medals (1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014), three silver medals (1950, 1959 and 1982) and four bronze medals (1974, 1990, 1998 and 2006). USA Men’s World Cup teams own an overall record of 123-27.

Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Additionally, Olympic host Japan automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.

About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA national teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored five-on-five and 3×3 international competitions, as well as for some national competitions and for the development of youth basketball.