Canada draws 'group of death' with Australia, Lithuania, Senegal

Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE

The tournament begins in China on August 31st.

Greece topped a super-group including Serbia and Germany in the World Cup qualifiers. "I hope we will reach to the point that would take the men's team to the Olympics for the first time", Hedo said.

Saturday's draw in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen pitted a biggest-ever 32 teams from five continents and placed the United States of America in Group E in Shanghai alongside the Czechs, minnows Japan and Turkey - the team the U.S. beat in the 2010 final.

Serbia - who will have Philadelphia 76ers' 7-foot-3 big man Boban Marjanovic - qualified to the World Cup after placing in third place in a tough Group L in the European Qualifiers.

Former NBA and Team USA star Kobe Bryant, now a World Cup ambassador, told the draw ceremony: "The USA has some really stiff competition". The top two teams from each group will qualify for the 2nd Round and will be placed into a new group with the two top teams from a separate group. "But it's going to be fun".

Lastly, Group F is made up of Dominican Republic, France, Germany and Jordan.

Spain won the World Cup in 2006, led by Pau Gasol - and he's hoping to play for his country this summer as well. "So if we have a chance to go for it this summer, we will".

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Host China is in Group A along with Ivory Coast, Poland and Venezuela while Russia, Argentina, South Korea and Nigeria compose Group B.

Lithuania will enter the World Cup with a world rank of 6th overall, Australia will enter with a rank of 11th after just falling outside the top 10 in the latest FIBA World Ranking list.

The top seven teams at the World Cup will punch their tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The U.S. will be the favorites at the World Cup.

"It's a real sense of honour to be playing for your country". "When you start out the game, you hear your national anthem being played, you see everybody in the arena with their flags representing their country and color, it's just such a great honor to be a part of that".

Group D games will be staged at Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center in Foshan, China.

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