Canada drawn into tough World Cup group with Lithuania, Australia and Senegal

Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant and former Chinese basketball player Yao Ming attend the draw. Reuters

Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant and former Chinese basketball player Yao Ming attend the draw. Reuters

Kobe Bryant believes Team USA will be hard to beat in the 2019 FIBA World Cup if players leave their egos at the door.

Turkish team, now ranking 17th, were the runners-up in 2010, losing 64-81 to the the final.

The U.S. won the World Cup in 2010 and 2014.

The the top-ranked team in the world and coach Gregg Popovich - taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, whose run as head coach ended with three Olympic gold medals and the last two World Cup championships as well - will head to China with a roster filled by National Basketball Association talent.

Shea Ili on the drive for the Tall Blacks.

"We are ready for the world", said Yao Ming, the best Chinese player ever, the longtime Houston Rockets star and one of the global ambassadors for the World Cup.

"Obviously it will be tough, it should be and will be, that is basketball".

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MANILA, Philippines - Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to have ever donned the United States of America colors, having won two Olympic gold medals and one FIBA Americas championship.

"My job now, with the coaching and support staff, is to pull together a preparation that will give us a shot of playing to our potential, and then of course selecting the final roster".

Turkey men's basketball team will meet Czech Republic, the US and Japan in the Group E in 2019 FIBA World Cup group stage. Bryant said he expects competition to be stiff, even for the Americans. "The team that we will assemble will pour their hearts and souls into continuing our proud record on the world stage and honouring Tū Kaha by representing the past, the present and the future in everything we do".

The top seven teams at the World Cup will punch their tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Greek national team was one of the eight seeded and will play in Group F with Brazil, Montenegro and New Zealand, in the city of Nanjing. The Chinese are paired with Venezuela, Poland and Ivory Coast.

Group C consists of Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico and Tunisia.

On August 31 they play Australia in the opening game of Group H. Lithuania will be their next opponents on September 2nd and they'll round out their first three games with Senegal on September 4th.

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