FIBA names NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki as World Cup ambassador
FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, has named NBA and German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki as a global ambassador for this year’s World Cup.
Nowitzki, who recently announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 40, becomes the third ambassador for the tournament in China this summer, joining fellow former NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Yao Ming.
In his role as a global ambassador, Nowitzki will help promote the World Cup by taking part in activities on FIBA’s ‘Road to China 2019’ as well as being present at the first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA's flagship competition.
The German finally called time on his illustrious NBA career at the end of the regular season last month after spending 21 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.
He also competed in several World Cups and FIBA competitions during his career, helping the German national team win a bronze medal in the 2002 World Cup.
Nowitzki said: "It's an honour to join Yao Ming and Kobe Bryant, some of my contemporaries and biggest rivals, in taking up this prestigious role. Over the past two decades, I have personally seen the level of play in the international game evolve and grow. A World Cup with 32 teams can bring national team basketball to a level that has never been reached before and can be the most competitive event ever."
The FIBA Basketball World Cup will begin on 31 August and run to 15 September.