The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will bring about many surprise appearances (and, sadly, absences, too). The 18th tournament of the Cup will be hosted in China between August 31 and September 15, 2019. In fact, it was supposed to take place in 2018 but it was rescheduled so that it would not occur at the same year as the FIFA World Cup (soccer). The tournament will also be an instance of qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics. So it’s going to be an important moment in basketball history.
Unfortunately, there were good teams, like Great Britain, which did not make it into the World Cup. The USA will be facing China, Spain and France in the first matches. There is a strong chance they will make it to the quarter finals. Dan Routledge, a British basketball commentator with 20 years experience, has expressed his wish for the USA to win the competition. He thinks the American team is a perfect combination of A-class veterans like LeBron James and newcomers like Jayson Tatum. “Together they will be the stars of the tournament”, said Routledge.
The USA team will bring together the best of the NBA. Among them is Jayson Tatum, one of the most talented players right now. As he keeps on being a star on the Celtics in Boston, Tatum will have to face a new challenge: the international stage with the NBA’s elite. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, a sports commentator, Tatum will join the national team in their practice so as to see if he qualifies for the FIBA World Cup later on in September. “He needs to prove he’s got what it takes”, claimed Routledge.
In order to train for such a challenge, Tatum needs to gain power and speed, and to be in his best shape ever. His training programme is not so different from that of other athletes, but in a much more intense manner. Basketball players need to jump higher and run faster. According to fitforbeach.co.uk, the customary training routine for basketball players involves lifting weights, doing some speed and agility work and lots of conditioning.
In the two NBA seasons he has with the Boston Celtics, Tatum has shown signs of being a superstar by making an average of 15 points, 5.5 rebounds and almost 2 assists per game. He also has an average mark of 46% and 40% shooting from the floor and point shooter respectively. And he is no stranger to international prizes as he won gold medals at the 2015 FIBA championship U19, the U17 in 2014, and in the U16 in 2013. He has been team USA ever since.
At the camp in China he will be joined by stars like Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, James Harden, Eric Gordon, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, Kemba Walker, and Anthony Davis. From this list, Tatum, Kuzma and Mitchell are the youngest (21, 23, and 24 years old).
Though he seems up to the task, Jayson Tatum will have to prove his worth among some of the best players in the NBA and the world. The competition will be hard so this FIBA World Cup promises some unforgettable matches. Let’s see what happens in August during the training sessions and how the countries form their final teams.