OLYMPICS

USA Basketball Sets Plan For Olympic Camps In Las Vegas

Jun 10, 2021, 10:28 AM | Updated: 3:36 pm
PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 08: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs motions a play during...
PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 08: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs motions a play during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on May 08, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

AP – For USA Basketball, the last stop before the Tokyo Olympics will be Las Vegas.

The men’s and women’s national teams will hold training camps in Las Vegas in July, they announced Thursday, and they’ll be playing seven exhibitions there against other Olympics-bound national teams as well.

USA Basketball will open its men’s training camp, led by coach Gregg Popovich, in Las Vegas on July 6. The Olympic men’s teams from Australia, Nigeria, Argentina and reigning Basketball World Cup champion Spain will also be spending some time in Las Vegas; Argentina will start its training camp there this month.

The U.S. women’s training camp under coach Dawn Staley will likely open around July 12; the WNBA break for the Olympics starts after the games of July 11. The Olympic women’s teams joining the U.S. in Las Vegas are Australia and Nigeria.

It’ll all take place at the MGM Resorts, which was announced as USA Basketball’s training camp home and resorts partner with the sides having now agreed to a multi-year sponsorship deal.

“USA Basketball is proud to expand its partnership with MGM Resorts,” USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley said. “We’re excited to bring our national teams to their properties as we prepare for the challenging competition that lies ahead this summer.”

The U.S. men are seeking a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, the U.S. women their seventh in a row. Both will enter the Olympics ranked No. 1 by FIBA, the sport’s international governing body — though it remains unknown who the Americans will have on their rosters for the rescheduled Tokyo Games.

Those rosters could be set by the end of June. Some top NBA players such as Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers have expressed some interest in being part of the Olympic team; others, such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis — Los Angeles Lakers teammates who were dealing with injuries when their season ended last week — are not planning to join the team.

All teams in Las Vegas will be taking part in what USA Basketball described as “comprehensive health and safety protocols … including mandatory and regular COVID-19 PCR testing, administered to athletes, coaches, officials and staff in accordance with FIBA and USA Basketball recommendations and CDC guidelines.”

Those concerns are why the international teams opted to spend time in Las Vegas. Argentina’s men’s team is conducting the entirety of its three-week camp there before flying to Tokyo, simply because it believes a controlled environment and less traveling between different countries will minimize virus-related risks before the Olympics.

“We were lucky and, at the same time, we deserved it to get an organization like USA Basketball to extend this invitation to us,” Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. “In such a complicated context it doesn’t get better than this.”

The games are set up as part of five doubleheaders, and fans will be able to attend the matchups at MGM’s Michelob Ultra Arena. Tickets go on sale next week.

GAME SCHEDULE

July 10 — U.S. men vs. Nigeria, Argentina vs. Australia

July 12 — Argentina vs. Nigeria, U.S. men vs. Australia

July 13 — U.S. men vs. Argentina, Australia vs. Nigeria

July 16 — U.S. women vs. Australia, U.S. men vs. Australia

July 18 — U.S. women vs. Nigeria, U.S. men vs. Spain

PREQUELS

The Nigeria-U.S. women’s game will be a prequel to the teams’ Olympic meeting on July 27 in Tokyo, the first game there for both of those teams. Nigeria and the U.S. are both in Group B at the Olympics, along with Japan and France.

The Australia-Nigeria men’s game is also the warmup for an Olympics-opening matchup. They’ll play in a Group B game on July 25.

The men’s teams from Spain and Argentina — the teams that played in the World Cup final at Beijing in 2019 — are both in Group C for the Olympics. They’ll both spend some time in Las Vegas but are not scheduled to face off there before flying to Japan.

FIBA RANKINGS

Las Vegas will see the top four men’s teams in the FIBA rankings there for the exhibitions: The U.S. is No. 1, Spain No. 2, Australia No. 3 and Argentina No. 4. Nigeria is ranked No. 22.

The U.S. women also hold the No. 1 FIBA ranking, and their July 16 opponent Australia is ranked No. 2 in the world. Nigeria’s women are ranked No. 17.

Olympics

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20: Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA competes in the 1st run of the ...
GRAHAM DUNBAR AP Sports Writer

Mikaela Shiffrin Sets Record For Most World Cup Wins By Female Alpine Skier

From a prodigiously talented 15-year-old to the most decorated female skier of all-time, Mikaela Shiffrin has done quite a lot in only 12 years.
10 days ago
A 2002 Winter Olympic sign sits outside Rice Eccles Stadium before the start of an college football...
EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer

Winter Olympics Focus On Climate Change, Rotating Hosts

To hear the world's Olympic leaders tell it, the bidding for future Winter Games has been jumbled by internal disputes.
2 months ago
Nathan Chen - Figure Skating...
Dave Skretta, AP

US Figure Skaters Still Await Medals From Beijing Games

(AP) – Every once in a while, Nathan Chen and the rest of the American figure skaters who finished second in the team event at the Beijing Olympics will get on a group chat and catch up on everything happening in their lives. Things that aren’t happening, too, like a medal ceremony for the Winter […]
4 months ago
2024 Olympics...
John Leicester, AP

The 2024 Paralympics In Paris Won’t Open In Stadium

The world's best Paralympic athletes, parading down France's most famous boulevard with their prosthetic limbs, mobility chairs, and stories of adversity, heading to a grand celebration of their prowess and sports on the Paris square where the French Revolutionaries of 1789 chopped off heads.
4 months ago
USA-Gymnastics-Aly-Raisman-Simone-Biles-McKayla-Maroney-Maggie Nichols...
WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer

Skepticism And Hope As USA Gymnastics Enters Post-Nassar Era

The blue and red flames of the new logo USA Gymnastics unveiled this week are designed to symbolize rebirth. They might as well double as a metaphor for the self-inflicted damage the organization has endured for the better part of a decade.
6 months ago
Troy Vincent - NFL...
Rob Maaddi, AP

NFL Makes Strong Push For Flag Football With Eye On Olympics

Flag football will be played at an international, multi-sport event for the first time next week during the World Games in Alabama.
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
USA Basketball Sets Plan For Olympic Camps In Las Vegas