February 8 – Lakeland Magic Guard Rodney Purvis has been selected to participate in USA World Cup Qualifying Team training camp Feb. 15-20 and the G League International Challenge on Feb 18. The training will be used to select the 12-man team for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying first round, second-window games including Cuba on Feb. 23 and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz, California.
Purvis has played 33 games with the Magic this season averaging 20.3 points, 4.0 rebounds 3.4 assists and shooting 42.3% from the field as an Affiliate Player. Purvis was named the NBA G League Player of the Week on December 26, 2017 after a team season high 40 points against the Westchester Knicks earlier in the week.
Returning to contend for a USA roster spot from the November USA World Cup Qualifying Team are: Semaj Christon (free agent); Larry Drew II(Sioux Falls Skyforce); and Travis Wear (South Bay Lakers). Rounding out the USA training camp roster are Taylor Braun (Salt Lake City Stars); Alonzo Gee (Sioux Falls Skyforce); Aaron Harrison (Reno Bighorns); Terrence Jones (Santa Cruz Warriors); Trey McKinney Jones (Fort Wayne Mad Ants); Rodney Purvis (Lakeland Magic); Xavier Silas (Northern Arizona Suns); David Stockton (Reno Bighorns); Rashawn Thomas (Oklahoma City Blue); Marcus Thornton (Canton Charge); and Devin Williams (Maine Red Claws).
Jeff Van Gundy, who led the USA to a 5-0 record and the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup and to a pair of wins in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying November window, returns as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team. Veteran international coach Mo McHone and former Georgetown University coach John Thompson III will again serve as USA assistant coaches.
The USA official, 12-member USA team is expected to be announced following the Feb. 20 evening practice. The USA World Cup Qualifying Team will continue its training in Santa Cruz on Feb. 21, 22, 24 and 25.
The USA will host two home games during the second window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifying first-round. The USA men will play Cuba on Feb. 23, and Puerto Rico on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz on the home court of the G League Santa Cruz Warriors – Kaiser Permanente Arena. Both games are scheduled to tip at 8 p.m. PST.
The FIBA World Cup Qualifying games are being used to qualify 31 of the 32 nations that will compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. China automatically qualified as the host nation of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia (which now includes Oceania) and 12 European teams will also qualify.