Hawks to travel 15,000 miles for exhibition games

Hawks guard Trae Young and his teammates are scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi during the preseason. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Credit: AP

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Hawks guard Trae Young and his teammates are scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi during the preseason. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Credit: AP

The Hawks are about to go where no NBA team has gone before – on a 15,180-mile road trip.

That’s all the way from Atlanta to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The Hawks will play the Bucks in two exhibition games, on Oct. 6 and 8, at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the league and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism announced early Tuesday. The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 will mark the league’s first games in the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Gulf.

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That’s a 7,590-mile – one way – trip.

“The NBA continues to do an amazing job of growing the game internationally, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the first NBA Abu Dhabi Games,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said in a statement. “As we look toward the future of the Hawks brand, being recognized as a premier NBA franchise globally is something we aspire to, and we believe the experience for our players and staff to take in the culture in Abu Dhabi will be both incredibly memorable and impactful.”

The game will be a rematch of the 2021 Eastern Conference finals, won by the Bucks on their way to last season’s NBA championship.

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The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 are part of a multiyear partnership between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi. Earlier this year the partnership launched the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, a youth basketball league for 450 boys and girls ages 11-14 from schools across Abu Dhabi.

“Bringing the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks to Abu Dhabi in October is an important milestone in the NBA and basketball’s global growth,” NBA Europe and Middle East managing director Ralph Rivera said in a statement. “In addition to the games, we look forward to engaging fans through a variety of interactive events and giving back to the local community through NBA Cares initiatives and youth development clinics that will teach the sport and its values to young boys and girls.”

The games will be broadcast live in the UAE and across the Middle East and North Africa on beIN SPORTS, The Sports Channel and NBA League Pass.

Tickets will go on sale later. Those interested can register to receive more information by visiting NBA.com/AbuDhabi.