SAN JUAN - The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and USA Basketball, are pleased to announce, that during the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend, in a conjunct venture, they will present the first edition of the Latin American Select Team Game.
“This Latin America Select team announcement represents another step forward in FIBA’s mission to create one global basketball community, unite and grow the popularity of our sport. The Final Four is one of the great basketball spectacles in the United States and the creation of this team allows us a chance to highlight the best collegiate players from Latin America," said FIBA Americas Executive Director Alberto Garcia.
“Hopefully this will be the first of many joint ventures with the NCAA, one of the most important sport and basketball entities in the Americas,” added Garcia.
"USA Basketball is happy to collaborate with the NCAA and FIBA to showcase collegiate-aged basketball talent from the Americas. The Latin America Select Team game will undoubtedly be a great opportunity for student athletes to be an active part of the Final Four, while proudly representing their universities and native countries,” said USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director, Jim Tooley.
As part of Final Four Weekend, 14 of the top Latin American collegiate players will participate in the inaugural game that will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Buick Arena, in Houston, Texas.
“This is a terrific opportunity for student-athletes of Latin American descent to come to Houston and experience the Final Four,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice present of men’s basketball championships. “It’s important to recognize the growing popularity of the game of basketball around the globe, and especially in cities such as Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio, where not only our next three Final Fours will be played, but also where there is a large Latin American population. This is part of our efforts to make all fans feel like they can be involved with Final Four festivities.”
Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, will be represented in the event, that will highlight the basketball, the music, the spectacle, the charisma and emotion that is Latin America.
THE TENTATIVE ROSTER FOR THE LATIN AMERICAN SELECT TEAM GAME:
Chris Ortiz – Kent State University
Rafael Maia – University of Pittsburgh
Cezar Guerrero – Fresno State University
Nehemias Morillo – University of South Florida
Angel Nunez – University of South Florida
Luis Escoto – Federation of El Salvador
Michael Carrera – University of South Carolina
Anthony Perez – University of Mississippi
Amilcar Serrano – Federation of El Salvador
Adrian Diaz – Florida International University
Patricio Garino – George Washington University
Fernando Sosa – Federation of Mexico
Juan Carlos Tapia - Federation of Mexico
The inaugural Latin America Select Team will be a feature event during the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend. The team will be honored during Final Four Friday, and will be recognized during one of the semifinal games on Saturday.
FIBA (fiba.com) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 215 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
For further information about FIBA visit fiba.com or follow FIBA on facebook.com/fiba, twitter.com/fiba, instagram.com/fiba and youtube.com/fiba.
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly a half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety. For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official website of USA Basketball at www.usab.com.