WVU Basketball

Jones named to FIBA World Cup Qualifying Team roster

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Former WVU forward Kevin Jones is one of 12 players selected to play for the United States during the third window of FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying.

This marks the first time that Jones, who most recently played for Nanterre 92 in France’s top professional league, has been invited to play for Team U.S.A. in World Cup qualifiers.

Jones played for WVU from 2008-2012, and after a short stint in the NBA and G-League, he has played pro basketball in five different countries over the last five years. After the WVU Alumni Game earlier in June, Jones told West Virginia Illustrated that he was weighing his options after a successful season in France.

Team U.S.A., which is led by head coach Jeff Van Gundy, sits atop Group C with a 4-0 record in the first round of qualifying, meaning the team has already secured its spot in the second round.

“This is a good group of committed athletes that I think are going to represent us well,” said Van Gundy. “That doesn’t mean that we’ll win, but they’ll represent us well and they’re going to work hard and compete for each other and for the country, and that’s all you can ask."

Featuring 16 national teams from North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament for the Americas zone features four preliminary round groups, and each group consists of four teams.

The USA was drawn into Group C and is joined by Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Group A consists of Argentina, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay; Group B is made up by Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela; and Group D consist of Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Under FIBA’s new competition system, a total of 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe are competing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers over 15 months, looking to earn a qualifying berth into the 32-team 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup competition that will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.

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. Five teams will qualify from Africa, seven teams from the Americas, seven teams from Asia (which now includes Oceania) and 12 European teams will qualify.

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