USA hoops to send ‘world class’ player to UK basketball program

USA basketball announced on Tuesday it will send an “unprecedented” number of players to the UK basketball team to face Russia in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup, including one player who was on the U.S. Olympic team and another who was selected to the USA Basketball roster last summer.

“We are thrilled to announce our participation in the world’s premier men’s basketball tournament and are thrilled for the many great players and coaches we have invited to join our talented roster,” USA Basketball general manager Steve Kerr said in a statement.

“It’s been a very difficult decision for the players and our coaching staff, but we are thrilled that we have selected the players that are so passionate about the game and that they are excited to play in the very toughest competition in the sport.”

The team will be coached by former U.K. coach Rob Baxter and includes five former Olympians, including three NBA players.

“The experience that we’re bringing will be invaluable to our program and we look forward to sharing it with the fans of the USA and the world,” Baxter said in the statement.

“This is an exciting time for the country and the basketball community and we will continue to work closely with our staff and coaches to make the most of this opportunity.”USA basketball is in a two-game series with Russia this week at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It will play its first match on Thursday at 8 p.m.

ET.

The USA will then host the defending champions, France on Friday and France will face Italy on Saturday.