Pre-Olympic USA basketball 2012 tour details released
Friday, 24 February 2012
February 24 - It was announced today that the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant (pictured left and right respectively) will travel to Manchester and Barcelona this summer, as part of the United States basketball team's 2012 tour, before the start of the London Olympics.
The squad will train in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 6 until 11, before taking on the Dominican Republic on July 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
They will then travel to Washington DC for further training, before both the men's and women's teams face Brazil at the Verizon Center on July 16.
Following that match, the squads will travel to Manchester for training and exhibition games against their hosts, Great Britain, at the Manchester Arena on July 18 and 19.
The final stop of the training tour will be Barcelona, where they will take on their two main rivals – Argentina and European champions Spain – for gold this summer at the Palau Sant Jordi, on July 22 and 24 respectively.
"We have again scheduled an extremely challenging lineup of exhibition opponents for our USA Men's National Team," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.
"In addition to playing world powers Spain and Argentina, the team will also face FIBA Americas powers Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
"Add in what I'm sure will be a very competitive game in Manchester versus Great Britain, and we have an exciting tour schedule we believe will help get our team as best prepared as possible for the summer."
USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski added: "This tour will be a very challenging schedule of five exhibition games that will each be played in outstanding environments and will be memorable for all basketball fans.
"The team's training and these games will be absolutely critical in our preparation and we know that each of the teams will pose significant and unique challenges."
The USA, 13 times Olympic champions, will hope to defend their Beijing 2008 gold medal this summer in London, and will whittle down their current 20 man squad to 12 later this year.
January 2012: Bryant and James leads early US basketball picks for London 2012
August 2011: American basketball chief's optimistic for London 2012 despite current NBA lockout
March 2011: Britain's basketball teams to take on USA in London 2012 warm-up matches
April 2010: James hits back at Colangelo criticism
April 2010: James warned London 2012 place at risk if he misses Turkey