25 August, 2023
10 September
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Six things we’ve loved and learned from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

MIES (Switzerland) - The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is done and dusted and the Naismith Trophy has landed in Germany where Gordie Herbert's world champions were celebrated by about a thousand fans in Frankfurt.

Before we get too far removed from the memories, let’s look back at 6 things we loved and learned from the 2023 World Cup.

LEARNED #1: Germany could be a force for years to come


Germany took the 2023 World Cup by storm and went undefeated en route to winning the title for the first time. The country had been building up talent for many years now and finally broke through last summer by taking third place at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

Dennis Schroder put his leadership on display in Asia in carrying Germany to the World Cup crown just four years after crashing out in the First Round. Germany could be a force for some time now as the average age of the team was just 25.1 years with only Daniel Theis and Niels Giffey being older than 30.

Plus, there is a lot of talent coming up in the country. Get used to including Germany among the title contenders in the near future.

LOVED #1- Philippines fans really love basketball


The Philippines have been long known as a basketball-loving nation and they showed that at the World Cup, coming out in droves to not only see their own national team but cheer on their favorite NBA stars. It was in the Philippines that a new World Cup attendance record was set with 38,115 fans flocking to the Philippine Arena for the Philippines' opening game against the Dominican Republic.

Besides celebrating their own players, some of the fan highlights in Manila were their loud ovations for USA guard Austin Reaves, who plays for many Filipinos' favorite team the Los Angeles Lakers; and then going from booing Canada's Dillon Brooks - because of his antics in the NBA with LA Lakers star LeBron James - to then chanting MVP over the course of the Third Place Game.

LEARNED #2- Three countries can host a FIBA World Cup

Okinawa Arena in Japan

Many wondered what a World Cup in three countries would look like but Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines gave the world a tournament to remember. There were great games and great storylines to follow in all three host nations. Fans came out to the games and the organization did a good job for the teams, officials, media, and fans alike. And the tournament mascot JIP gave the fans a reason to celebrate.

LOVED #2- Farewells for Datome, Haddadi and others

Every World Cup sees veteran stars playing for the national team for the last time, making for emotional farewells. And the 2023 edition was no different.

Italian legend Luigi Datome played his final game for the Azzurri and head coach Gianmarco Pozzecco made sure his beloved captain got a standing ovation, stopping Italy's final game with about 3 minutes to go and letting the fans say their farewell in style. Another legend who was given a special goodbye was Iran big man Hamed Haddadi, who was celebrated on the court by the opposing Lebanon side after the final game for the 38-year-old.

LEARNED #3- Future is bright with Giddey and co.


While some veterans said goodbye, the World Cup also saw a number of youngsters show they are ready to shine on the big stage for years to come.

The 20-year-old Australian Josh Giddey was named as the Wanda Rising Star but he had plenty of tough competition for the award. USA's Paolo Banchero, Nikola Jovic of Serbia and Jean Montero of Dominican Republic were also leading candidates while South Sudan's 16-year-old Khaman Maluach showed his future is bright with the Bright Stars.

LOVED #3- Fairytales came true - South Sudan-style


Speaking of South Sudan … everybody loves a good fairytale and the 2023 World Cup gave us some great stories to remember for the ages. One of the most magical ones was South Sudan. The Africans gave their embattled country back home reason to believe and hope by not only grabbing three victories in their first-ever World Cup but also booking a direct ticket to Paris 2024.

So, now we look ahead to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2027 in Qatar. One of the biggest advantages for the fans is that all four venues will be in one city - Doha - making it easy for all fans to watch their favorite players. Good bye Manila, Jakarta and Okinawa. See you soon Doha.