After Slovenia’s victory over Germany in the European Qualifications last week, the news that his team had qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 reached Slovenia’s superstar, Luka Doncic, quite quickly.
He has confirmed his participation in the 32-team basketball extravaganza that will take place in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines by informing the country’s basketball federation.
According to the President of the Slovenian Basketball Federation (KZS), Matej Erjavec, who spoke to rtvslo.si about the matter, “Luka confirmed his participation a minute after the game (Nov. 14) with Germany, when it was certain that we would go to the championship.” “To tell you the truth, we knew for 99% certain right after the game against Israel on November 11, and even then, it was a source of incredible excitement as well as a reassuring feeling to know that we had won. If Luka is in good health, there is absolutely no reason to be concerned.”
So the man who has been in sparkling form with Slovenia the previous two years, the Dallas Mavericks star who is attempting to become the third European in the past five years to become the Most Valuable Player of the NBA after Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019, 2020) and Serbia’s Nikola Jokic (2021, 2022), is going all in with the national team for the third year in a row.
Doncic has stoked the fires of competition in basketball all around the world.
This summer, he fired Slovenia to first place in the EuroBasket 2022 group of death (Group B) in Cologne before a shocking loss to Poland in the Quarter-Finals. Prior to that, he led Slovenia to victory at the 2021 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas and then to fourth place at the Tokyo Games. He also led Slovenia to victory at the 2021 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas.
Doncic, who is currently averaging a league-best 34.3 points per game in the NBA, was not with Slovenia in the fifth window when it punched its ticket to the World Cup since the NBA season had already begun. However, he was there with the team in mind and soul.
Erjavec remarked that “his attitude is very wonderful.”  “When the game with Israel was being played, it was 6:00 in the morning in Dallas. This was a game that he watched. When you have games and away games, getting up at 6:00 in the morning to watch a game is not the simplest thing in the world to do.
“What more can I say than that we are overjoyed to have him, and we are well aware of the significance he possesses both on and off the playing field. You really need to come see it for yourself here in Dallas so that you can get a better grasp on everything. Unbelievable. Everyone has their own personalized jersey. He can’t go anywhere in town without his devoted followers following behind him. Incredible, to say the least.”
Luka-mania was also present at the EuroBasket, particularly in Cologne, where the 23-year-old erupted for 47 points in a single game, an 88-82 victory over France, and where he averaged a staggering 26.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in seven games. France was the victim of Luka-mania at the EuroBasket.
He was unbelievable to watch during the entire series. Doncic scored 36 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out four assists while playing for Germany, the team’s home team. He was impossible to stop.
More stunning than the figures themselves was the manner in which Doncic scored and made plays for his team, as well as the fact that he did, with the exception of Poland’s massive upset, what was required to win.
On the hardwood, he was a true wizard thanks to his incredible shot making, ball handling, captivating passing, and defensive abilities. It should come as no surprise that Doncic’s supporters have taken to dubbing him the Slovenian Sorcerer.
The owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, as well as Doncic’s coach, NBA icon Jason Kidd, were both in attendance to witness Doncic play in Cologne. Doncic is a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
Erjavec claims that the Mavericks recognize the value in Doncic representing his country in the World Cup and are totally supportive of his participation.
“There is no question about it,” he declared. “Surely, this is also a result of the fact that he came well prepared after being active during the summer… such an incredible beginning to the season in terms of stats, which are nearly impossible to comprehend.
“Having adequate preparation has unquestionably led to this result. This strategy has been given the the light by the club, which is managed by coach Jason Kidd and owner Mark Cuban. They have no objection to him participating.”
Before Slovenia’s qualification for the World Cup, there was clearly a hangover from their unforeseen elimination in the quarterfinals of the EuroBasket on September 14. This was before Slovenia even qualified for the World Cup. The humiliating loss to Poland by a score of 90-87 in the country’s basketball history cannot be erased by any of the wonderful moments that have occurred as a result of Doncic’s play, nor by the sensations that he generated in Cologne in front of a sold-out crowd.
During the game that took place in Berlin, the Poles built a lead of as many as 23 points for themselves.
“Absolutely, the outcome at the European Championship is a failure,” said Erjavec, who added that it will be something Slovenia will need to learn from. “Absolutely, the result at the European Championship is a failure,”
“What exactly did we pick up? that you must always give one hundred percent effort and ensure that you are truly connected. It is essential to maintain open lines of communication, discuss challenges, and find solutions on the spot. Above all else, always give it your best effort and give 100% every time.”
Those who formerly supported Slovenia can now focus on more positive things. Doncic will participate in the World Cup, and the very fact that he will be there is reason enough for any fan, whether they are in Slovenia, Dallas, or anywhere else in the world, to celebrate.
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