25 August, 2023
10 September
77 Luka Doncic (SLO)
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Where does Luka's 37 rank in all-time World Cup debuts?

OKINAWA (Japan) - Luka Doncic quickly wrote his name in FIBA Basketball World Cup history books following his first appearance in the competition on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old scored the fourth-most points by a player in a World Cup debut as he dropped 37 to power Slovenia past Venezuela, 100-85, at the Okinawa Arena.


He shot an efficient 61.1 percent from the floor, including 9-of-10 from 2-point range, on the way to setting the most points of the ongoing tournament thus far.

It's worth mentioning as well that Doncic has tallied the second-highest efficiency rating of the World Cup to date with 39, as he also had 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and a pair of steals in almost 31 minutes of action.


By scoring that many points, he surpassed Radivoj Korac on the list of World Cup best scorers for their first game. The late Yugoslavia legend was previously at no. 4 with 36, which he did against Peru in 1963.

Doncic was just four points shy from overtaking Korean icon Shin Dong-pa, who unloaded 40 versus Brazil in the 1970 competitions.



On top of the list is Nick Galis. The Greek Hall of Famer had 53 versus Panama in 1986. Second, meanwhile, is another Korean in Lee Chung-hee with 45 versus Brazil in the same meet in Spain.


Aside from Doncic, Carlik Jones is another player from this World Cup to join the elite company. The NBA G-League MVP scored the seventh-most points by a debutant with 35, although it went for naught as South Sudan bowed to Puerto Rico in overtime, 101-96.

Here's the Top 10 list:


Player Team Opponent Year Points
Nikos Galis Greece Panama 1986 53
Lee Chung-hee Korea Brazil 1986 45
Shin Dong-pa Korea Brazil 1970 40
Luka Doncic Slovenia Venezuela 2023 37
Radivoj Korac Yugoslavia Peru 1963 36
Luiz de Azevedo Brazil Italy 1990 35
Carlik Jones South Sudan Puerto Rico 2023 35
Drazen Petrovic Yugoslavia New Zealand 1986 34
Ahmad Al-Dwairi Jordan Dominican Republic 2019 34
Fernando Martinez Spain Korea 1990 32