CANADA WINS HISTORIC FIRST MEDAL AT BASKETBALL WORLD CUP
For the first time in history, Team Canada leaves the FIBA World Cup with a bronze medal following a thrilling overtime victory over the United States. Germany won the tournament for the first time in history over the powerhouse team from Serbia.
Led by several NBA stars including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett and Dillon Brooks, Team Canada concludes the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a long-awaited medal at the world’s top basketball tournament.
Since the event’s conception in 1950, only four teams from the Americas had ever won a medal at the Basketball World Championships, led by the United States with five gold medals, Brazil with two gold medals, Argentina with one championship and Chile with two bronze medals. Now, Canada’s men’s national team joins this exclusive list with a bronze medal of its own.
The 2023 FIBA World Cup was won by Germany for the first time in its history, while Serbia won its second silver in the past three editions of the tournament.
Canada’s road to the bronze medal featured only one loss in the second group stage to their continental rivals from Brazil and a loss in the semifinals to the silver medalists from Serbia. That set up a continental clash between the Americas’ top two teams in the sport — Canada and the United States.
The bronze medal final was a back-and-forth affair, with Canada jumping out to an early lead in both the first and second half before Team USA mounted comebacks to keep the game close. Despite outscoring Canada in the fourth quarter, the U.S. was unable to win in regulation and forced overtime.
However, it was all Canada in the overtime period, with Canada outscoring the U.S. 16 to 7 to secure the 127-116 victory and earn the country’s historic first medal at the FIBA World Cup.
Canada was led by a sharp-shooting Dillon Brooks in the final who hit eight of nine three-point attempts to lead all players with 39 points in the contest. He was followed closely behind by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 31 points of his own, while RJ Barrett added 23 of his own to give Canada a deadly trio of scorers. Team USA was led by Anthony Edwards with 24 points and Austin Reaves with 23.
In addition to winning the bronze medal, Gilgeous-Alexander was also named to the World Cup All-Star team alongside tournament MVP Dennis Schroeder from Germany, U.S. star Anthony Edwards, Serbian sharp-shooter Bogdan Bogdanovic and Slovenia’s star Luka Doncic. Dillon Brooks was awarded the Best Defensive Player award for his efforts to make life difficult for opposing players.
Both the teams from Canada and the United States also earned qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next year thanks to their performances at the tournament.
Congratulations to Team Canada on winning its first medal at the FIBA World Cup and to all of the countries of the Americas that competed in the tournament!