Warriors Fave, NBA Champion Headed to World Cup Qualifiers

Jordan Bell 2018 Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors big man Jordan Bell celebrates the team's NBA championship in 2018.

Jordan Bell may not be on an NBA roster currently, but Golden State Warriors fans know full well the kind of excitement he can generate on the hardwood. He doesn’t have a stepback three or Tim Hardaway handles, but his defense, athleticism and high motor made his time in the Bay Area memorable.

After starting games for Golden State as a rookie and making himself something of a fan favorite over a two-year run, Bell bounced around the league until the team brought him back last season. And the Warriors continued to keep an eye on him this season via their G League affiliate.

Alas, the Santa Cruz-based club traded Bell to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last month for a pick, effectively ending another run with the Warriors.

However, Dub Nation is undoubtedly still rooting for the big man, and fans will have an opportunity to cheer for him again in a matter of days as a member of Team USA.

Bell Joining WC Qualifying Squad

Warriors Rookie Jordan Bell Throws Himself an Alley Oop Off the Backboard in His 4th NBA GameFind more exclusive sports coverage: bleacherreport.com/ Subscribe: youtube.com/user/BleacherReport?sub_confirmation=1 Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/bleacherreport Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/bleacherreport2017-10-24T03:27:56Z

Per an announcement from USA Basketball on Tuesday, Bell has been added to the Americans’ roster for FIBA World Cup qualifying games scheduled to take place later this month.

The 27-year-old was among the 12 players selected to compete for Team USA during the first series of Round 1 qualifiers in November but ultimately did not participate. An American squad led by former NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas went on to beat Cuba before falling short against Mexico.

For the next series of qualifiers, Team USA will host Puerto Rico (1-1) on February 24 and Mexico (2-0) on the 27th. Both games will take place at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC — home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the G League’s Capital City Go-Go.

Joining Bell as part of the qualifying team will be seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson, Tarik Black, Brian Bowen II, Langston Galloway, Jared Harper, Juwan Morgan, Matt Ryan, David Stockton, Rayjon Tucker, Paul Watson and Justin Wright-Foreman. Jim Boylen will coach the team.

In 17 games with Santa Cruz and Fort Wayne this season, Bell is averaging 11.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals per contest. He also had a cup of coffee with the Chicago Bulls as a hardship signee but saw just two minutes of court time.

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World Cup Details

The next FIBA World Cup of Basketball will take place from August 25 to September 10 of 2023. Host nations include Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

For qualifying, Team USA is part of the Americas zone, which features 16 national teams from North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Those teams have been split into four preliminary groups. The top three teams from each group will qualify for the next round.

Following Round 2, the three top teams from each group, and the top fourth-placed team, will qualify for the World Cup. In total, 80 national teams from FIBA’s four regions are vying for 30 of the 32 World Cup spots.


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