This summer, Victoria will play host to several star basketball players – and receive a cool $350k from the provincial government, too.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture is providing $350,000 to help Victoria host the FIBA Men’s Basketball Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which begins in June 2020.
Organized by FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, the tournament involves six teams competing for a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Canada will face off against Greece and China in Group A, while Uruguay, Czech Republic and Turkey play in Group B.
“We’re excited to have the chance to watch some world-class basketball right here in our own backyard,” said Premier John Horgan.
“We’re proud to showcase B.C. to the world in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This qualifier will give kids and young athletes the chance to watch and be inspired by some of the most talented basketball players in the world.”
The two semi-finalists will advance to the final, with the winner qualifying for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Croatia, Lithuania, and Serbia are also hosting three other tournaments to make up the remaining Olympic spots.
“I’m thrilled this tournament is coming to Victoria and that we can showcase our province to people around the globe,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“We are proud to support sporting events which bring people together, strengthen community connections and stimulate the local economy.”
Star Canadian basketball player Cory Joseph and living legend Nick Nurse will be at the tournament in June. Even Nav Bhatia, the renowned Toronto Raptors superfan, is coming to Victoria to kick off ticket sales on Friday, January 31st.
He will be joined by MLA Rob Fleming as well as basketball players from Oak Bay High School, and will be delivering a talk on the power of sports to promote social belonging and leadership. Bhatia will also invite the players to partake in a brief scrimmage.
All games at the 2020 tournament will be played at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre – check out the full tournament schedule below:
Group A – Game 1: Greece versus Canada
Group B – Game 2: Uruguay versus Turkey
Group A – Game 3: Canada versus China
Group B – Game 4: Turkey versus Czech Republic
Group A – Game 5: China versus Greece
Group B – Game 6: Czech Republic versus Uruguay
Game 7: Semifinal game #1 (1st A versus 2nd B)
Game 8: Semifinal game #2 (1st B versus 2nd A)
Final: (Winner Game 7 versus Winner Game 8). Winner advances to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (July 24 – August 9, 2020)
FIBA Men’s Basketball Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- When: June 23rd to 28th, 2020
- Where: Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
- Tickets: January 31st at 10:00 a.m., available here
With files by Seanna Wainman