The FIBA World Cup is over, but how did the home countries of the Utah Jazz’s FIBA Five end up doing?
The FIBA World Cup is over, and that means that teams get ranked accordingly and those that did the best will earn automatic bids for the Olympics. While many other NBA teams aren’t going to be as invested in this, considering the Utah Jazz had five players participate, and will likely have more come Olympic season in 2024, we’re a little bit more invested than most.
Simone Fontecchio, Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler, and Lauri Markkanen all played for their respective countries in the FIBA World Cup. Jordan Clarkson played for the Philippines, a nation to which he has some ties heritarily speaking. And despite the US and Canada having stacked teams, it was Germany that came out on top.
The Germans won the Gold after defeating Serbia, the home country of Nikola Jokic, while Olynyk and the Canadians disappointed their countrymen and came in third. But that wasn’t all, because while only three teams won medals, the other 29 teams were left competing for the right to qualify for the Olympics. The FIBA World Cup was just one of the ways for teams to win a shot to compete for the biggest prize in international basketball.
The top teams from their respective regions get automatic bids, with Africa getting one automatic bid, the Americas getting two, Asia getting one, Europe getting two, and Oceania getting one. France gets an automatic bid due to being the host country.
*Bold = qualified for the Olympics
- Germany (Gold)
- Serbia (Silver)
- Canada (Bronze)
- United States
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
- South Sudan
- New Zealand
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Cape Verde
So the international Jazz coverage continues on, with Kessler (the US) and Olynyk (Canada) possibly getting spots on their teams for the Olympics. Though, it’ll likely only be Olynyk, as Kessler has to make the team again, this time against the NBA’s best and brightest.
When the FIBA World Cup was all said and done, only five countries were left without a shot to make the Olympics due to they finished; Vape Verde, Venezuela, Jordan, Iran, and China were out of the running for the Olympics.
Thus proving why it was important to keep hustling and playing well after you were eliminated from the tournament.
So that means the other three Jazz players not named Olynyk and Kessler are still alive for the Olympics as well. Four more teams still need to be added to the eight teams already in the tournament
The countries with a shot still to go to France for the Olympics are Egypt, Angola, the Ivory Coast, Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Lebanon, Lavia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, Georgia, Finland, and New Zealand.
Of all the nations with an automatic bid, the least likely to win, but the most likely to have a cool documentary made about them is the South Sudanese national team. Their country has only existed for about 12 years now and the head of the program is none other than Luol Dang; a major player for the Chicago Bulls.
So while the FIBA World Cup may be over, the stories continue all the way to the Olympics. It’s going to be an interesting time for sure, and next summer will be even more wild than this year, especially if the Jazz have three, four, or even five (if not more) players heading over to France.