Ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Dirk Nowitzki has become the third big-name ambassador for the tournament.

Nowitzki named FIBA World Cup ambassador

Dirk Nowitzki has been confirmed as the third ambassador for this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

The German, who retired at the end of the NBA's regular season, follows Yao Ming and Kobe Bryant in taking up the role ahead of the expanded edition of the tournament in 2019.

A total of 32 nations will be involved - the most ever in the event's history - and eight different cities will host games, with the action tipping off on August 31.

"I'm very excited to become an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019," 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."

Nowitzki spent his entire NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, helping the franchise win the title in 2011.

He also represented his country from 1999 to 2015 and was named tournament MVP at the 2002 World Cup after Germany finished third.

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