HALIFAX, NS – Today, Canada Basketball in partnership with Sport and Entertainment Atlantic, announced that the Scotiabank Centre in downtown Halifax will host the first Senior Men's National Team home game of the new FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.
Canada will open the qualifying process on Friday, November 24, 2017 against Bahamas with tipoff scheduled for 8:00 pm AST.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifier will be a festival of basketball that will also feature an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men's regular season game between Acadia Axemen and StFX X-Men at 6:00 p.m.
Kevin Dickie, Acadia University's Director of Athletics pointed out the rich history of Acadia basketball within the Canadian Basketball community and how important the event along with Acadia's hosting of the U SPORTS 2018 Final 8 men's basketball championship is important for the region's sport tourism industry.
"I am so impressed, looking from the inside out, of what Halifax and SEA is doing right now. It's so progressive, way beyond sport tourism. I am very happy to be working with Derek (Martin), Chris (Larsen) and everyone at SEA. our partnership goes way deeper than our national championship (hosting)", said Dickie.
This past season the Axemen lost in the dying minutes against the eventual AUS champions Dalhousie Tigers. The X-Men grabbed the sixth and final spot for the AUS Final 6, losing to Saint Mary's in quarterfinal play.
Tickets for the event will go on sale through Ticket Atlantic on Friday, June 30 and range in price from $10 for students and youth to $50 for court side seating. For additional ticketing information, click here.
Along with the doubleheader, Canada Basketball and Basketball Nova Scotia will also be hosting a Steve Nash Youth Basketball Clinic and a coaching clinic among other events leading up to the games.
Beginning in November 2017, the Qualifiers will establish a new road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup China 2019. The new format will take place over the course of six windows and feature the world's top 80 national teams playing 1,200 games in front of millions of fans all around the globe.
During the first phase, Canada will play home and away games against Bahamas, Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The top three teams in the pool following the first phase will move onto a second phase of competition against three new FIBA Americas opponents.
At the conclusion of the six windows, the top seven teams overall in the Americas Region will advance to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China from August 31 – September 15.
Canada's Senior Men's National Team are currently ranked 24th in the world and 8th in the Americas Region. The pool of athletes that will represent Canada during the qualifying process will consist of Canada's best players playing in both North America and Internationally.
"Canada Basketball is excited to begin our road to China by hosting our first qualifying game in Halifax. The introduction of the new FIBA system allows us to showcase our national team to Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast and put Canada on display as a world-class destination for international basketball events."
- Michele O'Keefe, President & CEO, Canada Basketball
"Scotiabank Centre offers the perfect backdrop to showcase our country's best-in-class athletes. Together with our community, we look forward to creating a memorable experience for the players, coaches, volunteers and fans."
- Carrie Cussons, President & CEO, Scotiabank Centre
"We are thrilled to welcome the first FIBA World Cup Qualifying game for Team Canada to Halifax. As the return of the Final 8 demonstrated, Halifax loves premier Basketball events and we are excited to continue showcasing the very best of amateur basketball."
- Derek Martin, President, Sports & Entertainment Atlantic
"Nova Scotia has a rich history of basketball in Canada and we look forward to welcoming some of the best players our country has to offer to Halifax in November."
- David Wagg, Executive Director, Basketball Nova Scotia
FIRST PHASE SCHEDULE
Friday, November 24, 2017 vs Bahamas – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Monday, November 27, 2017 @ Dominican Republic
Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ US Virgin Islands
Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ Bahamas
Friday, June 29, 2018 vs Dominican Republic - TBD
Monday, July 2, 2018 vs US Virgin Islands - TBD