Manchester hosts first-ever basketball meeting between Olympic champions USA and Great Britain

By Sean-Paul Doran

Manchester is hosting the British versus USA Men’s and Women’s basketball matches for the first time on British soil.

The back-to-back games will be played at the Manchester Arena on July 18 & 19, the National Basketball Associated (NBA) and Manchester City Council have announced. Both US teams are reigning Olympic champions in the sport and British fans will be keen to see some of the world’s most gifted athletes in our own back yard.

USA Basketball legend and member of the 1992 ‘Dream Team’, Clyde Drexler was joined by GB players Drew Sullivan and Lauren Thomas-Johnson and GB basketball legend and 1948 Olympian Lionel Price at a special press conference in Manchester for the announcement this week.

Launching the ticket sales for the events, Drexler said: “Fans in the UK are in for a real treat when some of the world’s best basketball players take to the court.”

The games are part of an ongoing three-year partnership between the NBA and the Manchester City Council that has already seen the first-ever Women’s NBA game in Europe in May 2011. That game, between Atlanta Dream and Team GB, took place in the Manchester Arena and finished 82-51 in favour of the visitors.

The women’s match will take place on Wednesday July 18, the night before the men’s game. British basketball fans will see GB’s men’s basketball leading lights Luol Deng and Joel Freeland line up against household names Derrick Rose and five-time NBA champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist Kobe Bryant.

Executive Member for Culture and Sport, Councillor Michael Amesbury, welcomed the launch of the event, saying: “The Manchester Arena will be the place to be as we once again host top level sports here in the city.”

 The Great Britain men’s and women’s basketball teams play the USA at the Manchester Arena on July 18 and 19. For tickets visit or call +44 (0)844 847 8000

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