Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FIBA Americas starts Aug. 22

Many Americans don't know much about International Basketball. There is more to it than the Olympics. FIBA is international basketball's governing body. Starting tomorrow, August 22, 2007 the FIBA Americas tournament takes place in Las Vegas and lasts until September 2. This tournament is North and South America put together in one division. FIBA splits the world into 5 divisions: FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, FIBA Asia, FIBA Europe and RIBA Oceania. Each division competes for standings and invitations to play in World Championships and Olympic competition.

The FIBA Americas has invited the 10 top ranked teams in its division to play in this tournament. This includes the United States, Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Argentina, Panama, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. The FIBA Americas will give out 2 berths to the 2008 Olympics to the two teams that reach the FIBA Americas finals. The third, fourth and fifth place finishers qualify for a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament that includes 12 teams and will take place next July. That tournament will give out 3 bids for the Beijing Olympics.

International competition will become larger and larger as more nations improve their basketball play. Each nation is also ranked. Here are the current top 20 countries:

International basketball is very exciting. I wish we knew and saw more of it.

Tomorrow the US will play Venezuela. For more information go to FIBA.com

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