The match tips-off at Worthing Leisure Centre at 7.30pm and 6ft 4in shooting guard Ward, who grew up in Sussex, has joined Thunder after three years at Vermont-based college, Saint Michael’s, where he averaged 6.4 points a game.
He said: “I couldn’t think of a team in England I’d rather play for in terms of camaraderie and enjoying playing the game of basketball.”
Thunder head coach Daniel Hildreth is hoping his side can execute what they have been working on in six weeks of pre-season training on Saturday. Hank Rivers is still on vacation in America so misses the game, while Thunder are still awaiting paperwork for a second American.
Hildreth said: “There are a few USA Select sides touring around Europe and the UK as they look to get contracts. and we’re playing USA Select Blue.
“Looking at their team sheet, their tallest player is 6ft 5in, with the majority of their players guards.
“They’ll be something similar to us, so it should be a good, fast-paced game.”
Saturday’s game is £5 entry for adults and £3 for children aged five to 15.