Basketball Provides First Offering of Olympic Events

August 16, 2011

The Olympic Park will see competitive sport today at its first ever test event in the shape of London International Basketball Invitational that takes place at a temporary arena built for the official games in 2012.

The test event will feature six teams with Australia, China, Croatia, France, Great Britain and Serbia all in action.Each day will feature three games scheduled for 3.30pm, 6pm and 8.30pm in the Basketball Arena which is one of the largest temporary venues ever used for an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The tournament will run on five of the six days from August 16 until 21 with Friday (August 19) scheduled to be a rest day.

The majority of the teams will feature top NBA stars, including Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, who will lead Team GB in their pursuit of victory on home turf.

The sport will show supporters and organisers what to expect leading to the showcase event in 2012 while testing many parts of its operations including the field of play; results, timing and scoring systems; how teams work together and how people move around venues.

Debbie Jevans, London 2012 Director of Sport, said: “Having our first test event on Olympic Park makes the Games seem even closer and excitement is building.”

“We are looking forward to hosting our first ever tournament in the Basketball Arena and testing our operations which will include transport into Olympic Park as well as the venue operations and of course the sporting field of play.”

Patrick Baumann, FIBA secretary general and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, said: “This invitational tournament will be a very interesting and competitive one, with six of the best teams in men’s basketball.”

“The Olympic Basketball Arena is a wonderful and world-class venue.”

The venue was the fourth Olympic Park venue completed by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) earlier this year.

It has 12,000 seats with a black and orange design to represent the colours of a basketball while it is 35 metres high and 115 metres long.

It will be dismantled to be reused elsewhere at other UK and overseas events.