FIBA marks 1,000 days to start of flagship competition in style
BEIJING, China (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - FIBA on Sunday celebrated 1,000 days to go to the Basketball World Cup 2019 in China with a special event at Beijing's Wukesong Culture & Sports Centre, where former China international and global icon Yao Ming was unveiled as the competition’s first ambassador.
Yao Ming - who achieved stardom by representing China's national team at two FIBA Basketball World Cups and three Olympic Games, as well as by leading his country to three FIBA Asia Cup titles - spoke of the immense pride he feels in being an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in his homeland.
He said: "I am very excited that China will host the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 1,000 days. We are looking forward to seeing many star players from around the world and witnessing fantastic games. There will be a great battle to be crowned world champions and get the right to lift the Naismith Trophy.
"I have played in two FIBA Basketball World Cups. Many players prepare for years to earn this honour and in that time they invest a lot of time and effort to achieve wins on the biggest stage.
"We will organise and promote a FIBA Basketball World Cup that will delight basketball fans and attract even more people to follow our great sport."
In 2015, Yao Ming headed the successful bid to bring FIBA's flagship event to China for the very first time.
His unveiling as ambassador is the first of many exciting activities that will take place in the lead-up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. Among others, the Draw - and thereafter the regular games - of the Qualifiers, the launch of China 2019’s logo and mascot, the Trophy Tour and the unveiling of more ambassadors will follow before the action tips off on 31 August 2019.