The Top 10 stories from 2023 U19 World Cup
MIES (Switzerland) - The calendar is about to change to 2024 meaning it's time to look back on the year about to pass. And one of the biggest highlights was the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023.
The tournament in Hungary offered so many great memories and stories to remember for ages to come. We went back to the summer in Debrecen and came up with the Top 10 stories of the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023.
#10 M'Madi and Madagascar's Magic
Madagascar - yes, Madagascar - came to the U19 World Cup as U18 African champions and the debutants provided plenty of fun. Their leader was the all-around ace - and tournament top scorer - Mathias M'Madi and the Africans left Hungary with two wins.
#9 Japan make history with first Quarters
Japan came to Hungary with the enticing duo of Akira Jacobs and Yuto Kawashima and they helped the Asians make history by reaching the Quarter-Finals for the first time.
#8 Nowitzki: "U19 World Cup is a great measuring stick"
"(The U19 World Cup) is a great measuring stick playing against the best in the world. You can see what your level is and what you need to work on moving forward. What are other countries good at. I just think this is a great tournament." - Dirk Nowitzki, former Germany legend and Chairman of the FIBA Players Commission plus member of the FIBA Central Board.
#7 Historic defense
Spain played historic defense, setting two U19 World Cup records in the early Knockout Phase. In the Round of 16, Spain beat Lebanon 102-20, the fewest points allowed in a U19 World Cup game. Two days later, Spain rolled over Argentina 85-47 - the fewest points ever conceded in a U19 World Cup Quarter-Finals game.
#6 Reynan - that's it, just Reyan
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U19 World Cup fans got to watch Reynan Santos for seven games - what a joy as this video of the Brazilian star shows.
#5 Spain's next heroes: Almansa, Villar win 24 years after Gasol, Navarro
Spain have a new generation of heroes as Izan Almansa and captain Rafael Villar helped the country to the first U19 World Cup crown since 1999, when Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro guided Spain to their only previous title.
#4 Izan Almansa does first MVP double
Spanish big man Izan Almansa became the first player to win the MVP of both the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup and FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup - going back-to-back in 2022 and 2023. Here is an argument that he might be the most successful youth player in history.
#3 Historique! France's first youth win over USA
France made history in the Semi-Finals as they defeated United States for the country's first win over the Americans at a youth competition.
#2 Turkey first-ever victory against USA
Türkiye knocking off USA in the Third Place Game was even more historic as the 84-70 win was the first time any Turkish team beat USA.
#1 Spain vs France - Final
Spain vs France - no words needed. Just enjoy two great generations of two great basketball nations going at each other for the title!