Basketball at the 2012 Summer Olympics was held from 28 July to 12 August 2012. The preliminary matches and the women's quarterfinal matches were played in the new Basketball Arena in Olympic Park which seats up to 12,000 spectators. The men's knockout games and the women's games from semifinals onward were played in the North Greenwich Arena.
Two settings in London have been used for the basketball tournaments: The O2 Arena (referred to as the "North Greenwich Arena" during the Olympics) and the Basketball Arena in Olympic Park at Stratford. The North Greenwich Arena was the setting for the knockout stages for the men, and also from the semifinal games onward for the women, whereas the Basketball Arena was the setting for the preliminary rounds and the women's quarterfinals.
Initially, basketball was the only team sport in which the host country was not automatically awarded a team in the tournament. This was because the British basketball teams did not exist until 2006, and hence FIBA, the world's regulatory body of basketball, was concerned about the future of the British national basketball teams after 2012, as well as the probable lack of competitiveness of the British teams. However, in a meeting held in Lyon, France, on 13 March 2011, the FIBA's executive board agreed to allow the two British teams to enter automatically, after all.
The teams with the four best records qualified for the knockout stage, which was a single-elimination tournament. The semifinal winners contested for the gold medal, while the losers played for the bronze medal.