25 August, 2023
10 September
1 Nuni Omot (SSD)
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South Sudan's Nuni Omot: ''We can keep shocking the world''

CAIRO (Egypt) - South Sudan have taken African basketball by a storm over the last three years. Now they look to continue making history at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"None of this is going to be possible without our fans. I feel like they are the ones that really have lifted us up."


From reaching the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket Quarter-Finals to finishing with the best record (11-1) from the World Cup African Qualifiers, South Sudan are on the rise, and they show no signs of slowing down.

They will take on Puerto Rico, China and Serbia in Group B in the Philippines capital of Manila to mark their World Cup debut.

Reacting to the World Cup Draw, Nuni Omot - South Sudan's leading performer during the African Qualifiers - acknowledged the uphill task ahead of them, but he remained defiant: "We just got to come out and continue to shock the world the way we have been doing... I feel like if we just lock in, our coaches put us together, I feel like we can keep shocking the world. "

Only one team heads to this year's World Cup rank below South Sudan: Cape Verde, but the No. 62 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men presented by NIKE - feel they can do wonders in Manila.

Talking to FIBA.basketball in Cairo, where he featured for Al Ahly in the 2023 BAL Nile Conference, Omot expressed excitement to face "some strong teams in the group. it's going to be a good challenge for us," he said.

"We can’t take any of these teams lightly."

He continued: "Serbia have a lot of NBA guys, a lot of high level European players; China, they got some talented guys; Puerto Rico – I know some of the guys on the team – I played in Puerto Rico last summer, they have good guards."

But how far can South Sudan go at the 2023 World Cup?

"We are always the underdogs. We have been underdogs since Day 1. This means everything to each and every one of us," Omot observed when asked the importance of qualifying for the 32-nation World Cup.

"This means a lot because I am able to really step on a stage that I have never stepped on before.

"There’s going to be a lot of good players, good teams, but to be able to showcase with my brothers, to show the talent that there is in Africa and South Sudan it means the world. Just to be able to be in this stage is a dream come true."


What's the limit for South Sudan?

"We are not done yet," Omot said. 

"We still have a lot of things that we want to accomplish. None of this is going to be possible without our fans. I feel like they are the ones that really have lifted us up. Their unconditional support has been unbelievable. Second to none, I have never seen anything like it."

Asked to describe the type of team South Sudan is, Omot noted: "People, probably, aren't still too fond of us because this is our first year going to the World Cup, but they don't understand the type of talent that we have, the type of players that we have; the mindset; how hungry guys are; the type of work people put on in the off-season, during season," Omot concluded.