Wagner brothers fired up to play for Germany at World Cup
ORLANDO (USA) - International basketball could be about to see how strong and impactful the Wagner brothers' one-two punch is for Germany when the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is staged later this year.
Each of the brothers wants to be with Germany when they compete at the 32-team event.
Franz, one of the sensations at EuroBasket 2022 in Cologne and Berlin, and a major reason why Germany reached the podium for the first time since 2005, said to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA): "I would like to finish the season first and then allow myself a little break, but I would really like to be there."
Moritz Wagner, who watched the EuroBasket games from the sideline while injured, said: "I've always said that I like playing for the national team. Everyone knows that I am very passionate about it."
Right now, the Wagners play for the Orlando Magic.
Moritz is having a solid season, averaging more than 11 points and almost five rebounds per game.
Franz is pouring in an average of 18.7 points per game for the Magic, who have won three straight games and are 32-43 and still in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs.
"WE SHOWED WE'RE VERY COMPETITIVE IN FIBA AND OF COURSE WE GO THERE TO WIN" - MORITZ WAGNER
And when it comes to the result at the World Cup?
"We showed that we are very competitive in FIBA and of course, we go there to win," Moritz said.
Franz was cautious but enthusiastic.
"It's hard to say what our desired result is - of course, we want to win every game," he said. "But it also depends on who is there."
"What I can say: I think everyone is up for it again and it was really fun last year."
Franz's 15.2 points per game were second on the team at the EuroBasket, and his 4.0 rebounds ranked third. It was his first tournament with the senior team.
In his first summer with the senior team, Moritz averaged 14. 3 points and 4.0 rebounds as Germany won the 2021 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split, Croatia.
He then averaged 11.0 points and 2.8 rebounds at the Tokyo Olympics, where Germany reached the Quarter-Finals.