2019 FIBA World Cup draw: USA face Turkey, Czech Republic and Japan

NBA legend Kobe Bryant hosted the draw of the FIBA World Cup 2019 which serves as an Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020

Team USA are aiming for a unique three-peat at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer in China.

Some 8,000 spectators at Shenzen Bay Arena saw holders USA grouped with Turkey, the Czech Republic and Japan whose college standout Rui Hachimura has been playing a vital role in Gonzaga University's stellar season so far.

The World Cup begins on 31 August, with the final in Beijing on 15 September.

Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant hosted the ceremony on Saturday with Chinese NBA legend Yao Ming also onstage as one of the tournament's global ambassadors.

For the first time in the event's history, the FIBA World Cup will also serve as an Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

There will be 12 teams in the Olympic tournament with seven nations qualifying directly from the World Cup to join hosts Japan.

The other four will reach Tokyo 2020 through four different qualifying tournaments throughout next year.

No easy ride for Team USA

Bryant expects a tough task for his countrymen despite their status as clear favourites.

"It's a greater sense of honour to be playing for your country," Bryant said. "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 colour.

"It's just such a great honour to be part of that. It's extremely special."

USA won the World Cup in both 2010 and 2014 with no country yet to clinch three titles in a row.

The tournament will be played in eight cities across China: Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Wuhan, Foshan, Dongguan and Guangzhou.

"We are ready for the world," said Yao Ming.

32 teams in eight groups

32 teams have made the FIBA World Cup 2019. They have been divided into eight pots of four teams each, based on the FIBA world rankings with USA currently on top.

Second-ranked Spain were drawn with Puerto Rico, Iran and Tunisia in Group C.

Third-ranked France will play against the Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan in the group stage.

The Philippines with teenage sensation and NBA prospect Kai Sotto will face Serbia, Italy and Angola as its early opponents.

Here is a look at all eight groups:

Group A: Venezuela, Poland, China and Ivory Coast.

Group B: Argentina, Russia, South Korean and Nigeria.

Group C: Spain, Puerto Rico, Iran and Tunisia.

Group D: Serbia, Italy, Philippines and Angola.

Group E: USA, Turkey, Czech Republic and Japan.

Group F: Greece, Brazil, Montenegro and New Zealand

Group G: France, Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan

Group H: Lithuania, Australia, Canada and Senegal.

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