The Washington Wizards announced Tuesday that the team will travel to Brazil during the 2013 preseason to take on the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 12 as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative. This will be the first-ever NBA game played in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro will be the host city for the Wizards/Bulls’ contest.
Wizards’ center Nene is a Brazilian native who was born in the city of Sao Carlos. He has established a foundation in his home town to build a youth center providing educational and athletic resources to underprivileged children in the surrounding community.
“I am very proud to represent the Wizards organization and the NBA in my home country of Brazil next October,” said Nene in a released statement. “I look forward to returning home as a part of the NBA’s Global Games.”
The Wizards have previously played preseason games outside the United States in the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Mexico and Spain.
The NBA has played games internationally for more than three decades and was the first American professional sports league to schedule regular-season games outside of North America with two games in Tokyo in 1990.
In January, the Association staged its third regular-season game in London featuring a sold-out game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.
To date, the NBA has staged 138 preseason and regular-season games in 18 countries and territories across Europe, the Americas and Asia since 1978.
“Providing fans with an authentic NBA experience is an important part of our efforts to grow the game globally,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a released statement. “This fall, nearly a third of our teams will embark on a global tour that will celebrate the game of basketball, give our international fans a chance to connect with NBA teams and players, and leave a lasting impact in each of the communities we visit.”
Below is the NBA’s Global Games schedule for the 2013-14 season:
– Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul on Oct. 5 in Istanbul, Turkey
– Philadelphia 76ers vs Uxue Bilbao Basket on Oct 6. in Bilbao, Spain
– Thunder vs. Pacers on Oct. 8 in Manchester, England
– Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers Oct 10. in Manila, Philippines, and again in Taipei, Taiwan on Oct. 13
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