ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) - The FIBA World Championship will have a glamorous and exciting opening ceremony on Friday night at the Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.
The world famous Cirque du Soleil will be among the star attractions at the show, which gets underway at 9:15pm local time.
The event will be broadcast in 172 countries and will also be shown on fibatv.com.
Dervish Performance and Jannisary Band of Musicians, the great production of the Anatolian Fire Dance Group Troya, Sezen Aksu, Fatih Erkoç, Müslüm Gürses, Harris Alexiou as well as Italian tenor Alessandro Safina will be part of the ceremony.
Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state Minister Frauk Nafiz Özak and FIBA President Bob Elphinston will give welcome speeches ahead of the 24-team basketball extravaganza, which tips off in Istanbul, Ankara, Kayseri and Izmir on Saturday.
The ceremony will end with a World Championship Song to be sung by 300 children from 110 countries.
The children have taken part in the Children of the World Project, an initiative that allowed basketball federations in the FIBA zones to send a boy, a girl and a young basketball coach to Istanbul to take part in social and cultural exchanges.
All members of the press are welcome to attend the opening ceremony.