Beijing: The International Basketball Association, FIBA, celebrated, today, 1,000 days to go to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 with a special event at Beijing’s Wukesong Culture & Sports Centre. In a clock count down event, which marks the commencement of of more planning phases of the competition, the special event had all the glitters it could have.
The event was attended by a number of distinguished guests, including China’s Vice Minister of Sports, Mr Gao Zhidan; the Vice Secretary General of Beijing Municipal Government, Mr Jiang Fan; members of the China 2019 Local Organising Committee (LOC), officials from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and representatives from the eight host cities as well as FIBA Partners. Also present on the occasion was the FIBA Chief Operating Officer Markus Studer and FIBA Media and Marketing Services (FMMS) Director General Frank Leenders.
The event had in store, the unveiling of the first ambassador of the 2019 event; and it was former China international and global icon Yao Ming.
The Iconic Basketballer Yao Ming realized his 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. He, while addressing the attendees, spoke of the immense pride he feels in being an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in his homeland.
Speaking on the occasion, the Global Icon 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.”
Speaking about the prestigious tournament and his stint therein, he added, “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.”
Speaking about the event in 2019, he continued, “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.”
Earlier, it was Yao Ming in 2015 who headed the successful bid to bring FIBA’s flagship event to China for the very first time.
In coming days, many exciting activities that will take place till the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, like the Draw, 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.