The Australian Boomers men’s basketball team will play two exhibitions against Team USA, but before you run out to buy tickets, be apprised that the two games will not be until August of 2019.
If that seems like a long time off, it is, but it is dwarfed by the 19 years that will have passed since the USA national basketball team has paid a visit to Australia.
The games will be held on a special court that will sit atop the Aussie Rules oval at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. The first game will be on August 22nd, which is a Friday and the second game on August 24 takes place on a Sunday.
The AFL Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bomber both claim Etihad, or Docklands, as it is sometimes called and the basketball games will come in somewhere around Round 23 of the AFL home-and-away season, so the AFL might have to do some tinkering with the 2019 fixture, but a year-and-a-half should be sufficient time for that.
Spring temperatures in Melbourne can be balmy at that time of year and given that playing basketball in the rain is an underappreciated factor for professional hoopsters, it is a safe bet that the roof at Etihad will be closed, which also means that the Yanks will have the benefit of Etihad’s chilling system.
The NBA will be in recess at that time, so it is assumed that most of the Aussie NBA players will take part. The USA is not likely to send its biggest stars, but there are some, such as Stephen Curry, James harden and some others who take representative basketball seriously.
After the exhibitions, which could be seen by as many as 100,000 spectators over the course of the two games, the Boomers and Team USA will in all probability head over to China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.