US basketball and national teams from Mexico, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico will move into the bubble in Indianapolis in the coming days to prepare for the second round of FIBA AmeriCup qualifying matches later this month, a source told The Associated Press.
This will be the US’s first bubble-type format for an international event. Players, coaches and staff will go through rigorous testing and other protocol prior to arriving in Indianapolis and during their time at the event.
A person familiar with the situation said the US plans to invite 14 players, mostly G League players from last season, to Indianapolis for training camp. Of these, 12 will make the list for the games against the Bahamas on November 29 and Puerto Rico on November 30. The person spoke Friday to the AP on condition of anonymity because the list had not yet been made public.
Some of the camp invitees have previous US Basketball experience at this level: Josh Magette and Levi Randolph were members of the February 2020 AmeriCup qualifying team, and Amile Jefferson, John Jenkins and Travis Trice was a member of the previous World Cup qualifying team.
Other camp invitations were given to G League veterans Kaiser Gates, Tyler Hall, Jalen Hudson, Jemerrio Jones, Yante Maten, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Tyler Roberson, Paul White and Orlando Johnson.
Mike Fratello will coach the AmeriCup team again for the US. The Americans won 2-0 in the first qualifying window in February and were close to securing a place in the 12-team AmeriCup tournament which will take place in September 2022. The top three teams in the four-team qualifying group will advance.
The Americans are scheduled to start training Monday and train all next week before the game.
AmeriCup is the American FIBA Championship. The US is the defending champion, winning the last event in 2017.
Games will stream on ESPN +, but no fans or outsiders will be allowed into the bubble for the game. In addition to the US showdown, other games inside the Indianapolis bubble will include Mexico against Puerto Rico on November 29 and the Bahamas against Puerto Rico on November 30.
The US is the only team unbeaten in the qualifying group standings. Bahamas and Mexico 1-1, and Puerto Rico 0-2.