AP source: USA Basketball entering bubble for AmeriCup games

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USA Basketball and the national teams from Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico will be moving into a bubble in Indianapolis over the coming days to prepare for the second round of FIBA AmeriCup qualifying games later this month.

It will be the first bubble-type format for the U.S. for an international event. Players, coaches and staff will go through strict testing and other protocols before arriving in Indianapolis and during their time at the event.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the U.S. is planning to invite 14 players, mostly G League players from last season, to Indianapolis for training camp. Of those, 12 will make the roster for games against Bahamas on Nov. 29 and Mexico on Nov. 30. The person spoke Friday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the roster has not been announced.

Some camp invitees have previous USA Basketball experience at this level: Josh Magette and Levi Randolph were members of the February 2020 AmeriCup qualifying team and Amile Jefferson, John Jenkins and Travis Trice were members of past World Cup qualifying teams.

Other camp invites went to G League veterans Kaiser Gates, Tyler Hall, Jalen Hudson, Jemerrio Jones, Yante Maten, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Tyler Roberson, Paul White and Orlando Johnson.

Mike Fratello will coach the AmeriCup team again for the U.S. The Americans went 2-0 in the first window of qualifying in February and are nearly assured a spot already in the 12-team AmeriCup tournament that will take place in September 2022. The top three teams in the four-team qualifying group will advance.

The Americans are scheduled to begin training Monday and practice throughout next week in advance of game play.

AmeriCup is the FIBA Americas championship. The U.S. is the defending champion, winning the last event in 2017.

Games will be streamed on ESPN+, but no fans or outsiders will be allowed inside the bubble for the games. In addition to the U.S. matchups, other games inside the Indianapolis bubble will include Mexico playing Puerto Rico on Nov. 29, and the Bahamas against Puerto Rico on Nov. 30.

The U.S. is the lone unbeaten team in the group qualifying standings. Bahamas and Mexico are 1-1 and Puerto Rico is 0-2.

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