Dubai ready to host Under 17 World Basketball Championship

Lubomir Kotleba, FIBA Sport Director, leading the official draw ceremony for 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship. (SUPPLIED)

Dubai will break new ground by staging the Under 17 World Basketball Championship in August the official draw for which held at a gala ceremony on Wednesday.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, Dubai become the first city in the Middle East to ever host a FIBA World Championship.

The '2014 FIBA U17 World Championship' official draw was held at Waldorf Astoria Dubai in Palm Jumeirah in the presence of the FIBA committee, UAE Basketball Association, in coordination with Dubai Sports Council and Al Habtoor Group.

President of the UAE Basketball Association, Ismail Al Gargawi said: “This is one of the greatest moments in basketball history. I am so grateful that UAE will host and participate in this year’s FIBA U17 World Championship. By creating an event such as this, our organisation and our loyal partners could help showcase basketball to the nation and increase awareness, interest and engagement for the sport. We are looking forward to hosting our friends from FIBA and our distinguished guests from around the world to show them all what Dubai has to offer.”

All 16 of the world’s top basketball nations will come to Dubai with their star talents to compete in the Championship which will held from August 8 to 16.

Seven teams will be making their FIBA U17 World Championship debut, including the UAE, which ensures that the event will be a momentous occasion for the country and the development of basketball in the region.

The UAE will be joined by leading basketball nations including, USA, Spain, Japan, Argentina, France, China and the Philippines.

The Championship will take place across three arenas in Dubai with the final game to be held at the world class Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex on August 16.

The Official Draw for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai distributed the teams into four groups of four.

Assisting in the draw process were some special guests including FIBA Sports Director, Lubomir Kotleba; President of the UAE Basketball Association, Ismail Al Gargawi; UAE National Basketball team coach, Zoran Zupcevic; and representatives from participating countries.

The 16 participating nations were drawn into the following four groups:

Group A: Angola, Greece, Philippines, United States of America
Group B: Japan, France, Canada, Australia
Group C: Puerto Rico, UAE, Italy, Spain
Group D: Argentina, Serbia, China, Egypt

“We are fully behind our U17 men’s team and we are hoping that they can achieve great success at this World Championship. It would be a great big step forward to UAE’s sport’s industry as well as all sports enthusiasts in the country. Hosting this event will allow us to make opportunity history as the leading light for basketball in the Middle East,” Al Gargawi added.

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