April 1, 2023

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Grand Hill: We are looking forward to the Greece game at the end of June

USA basketball coach Grant Hill has begun the countdown to the August friendly match with Greece in Abu Dhabi in August, he said in a phone call on Monday afternoon (13/3).

A few days after the announcement of the major tournament in Abu Dhabi, which will feature the USA, Germany and Greece team, USA Basketball Executive Director Grant Hill spoke on a conference call with 20 reporters. the Sports 24 Watch the veteran basketball player speak, as he shows incredible anticipation for preparing the US national team and meeting our representative group on the road to the World Cup that will be held in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan from August 25 to September 10.

Detailing what the NBA CEO had to say:

We are looking forward to traveling to Abu Dhabi, a new market that has great enthusiasm for basketball especially Team USA and the National Basketball Association. There is a lot of excitement ahead of the World Cup. We knew we would also play in Spain, with Spain and Slovenia. In Abu Dhabi it will be an opportunity to face competition like the World Cup, and we are looking forward to facing Germany and Greece. They are important games for us, and we look forward to them because not only the members of the USA basketball team will be in attendance, but also Germany and Greece, who are all members of a global sport.

I had the chance to visit Abu Dhabi last October to attend the NBA friendly matches and was really surprised by the city. The enthusiasm for basketball exceeded my expectations. They are avid basketball players in the NBA, and since then we have been talking about national team games and everyone was looking forward to seeing such teams there. I can’t wait for the world to see high level basketball, from us, from Germany and from Greece.

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Since then, I also visited Manila in 1996. It was an amazing experience. I’m out of my mind! I felt like I was in an NBA arena, with thousands of people waiting outside the hotel. I was like a rock star, like a member of The Beatles. People were hungry for basketball, and Michael Jordan was one of the first to go there. I went back in 2000 and again it was a great experience. Every player with World Cup experience comes back a better player. Happy to be in Manila again. This love, the world’s passion for basketball is not found anywhere else.

American basketball will be 50 years old, and we have been working with the National Basketball Association for 30 years. So with logistics and security, we’ll be ready. We work together, we want to have fun, but also be safe. Let’s see Manila and play basketball. We want everyone to be safe, we will take all necessary measures and everything will be fine.

International basketball is completely different and more dynamic. They can beat you with great players who are already in the NBA. Historically, we’ve seen tall players who can shoot and handle the ball, it’s a different sport. I’m glad we have the talented shortstops we must have pitchers, especially in games with less possessions. We need scorers, players who can put the ball in the basket. We are working with Steve Kerr to give ourselves the best chance of winning the gold medal.

We didn’t do well in the 2019 World Cup, and that played a role in the rankings. Spain overtook us. We don’t like the fact that we’re not #1. But we have an extra drive to succeed. We don’t like the idea of ​​not being number 1 and we have a chance to change that.

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Everyone is waiting to find out which players have agreed to play in the summer. We’ve had good discussions, in the last few weeks, we’ve ramped up the volume of those discussions. In June or early July we will announce the squad list. Like I said, there’s an incredible enthusiasm from the guys who really want to be on the team. We have to find the best chemistry. So much is being done for this gold medal, anything less would be a failure. I love the challenge, I love the opportunity, I love working with amazing people.

We will do experiments on the list, this is the best time to become a team, to build chemistry and prepare for a different sport like international basketball. We’ve had great athletes in past events and they’ve grown old. Right now we’re excited about the young players, of course we’ll have some veterans as well. We’ll have to adapt. Every generation is different, we have to be aware of that.

There will also be a Select team, I can’t describe the importance it will have for our preparation. I was part of it in 1992, and we had one hit and many misses against the Dream Team in the following days. This team will make the roster, and you will be young athletes who will be members of the national team in the future. It happened in the past with Irving, with Durant going on to play in the big leagues“.