Japan and South Sudan qualified for the Paris Olympic basketball tournament

Japan - Venezuela: Group O - FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup

Japan – Venezuela: Group O – FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup

South Sudan made history just by being here – it was the African nation’s first appearance at the FIBA ​​World Cup.

were not done Led by the Bulls point guard Karlik Jones – who had 26 points and 15 assists – South Sudan defeated Angola 101-78 to earn the right to represent Africa at next summer’s Paris Olympics.

Also, on Saturday, Japan, the host of the World Cup, won 80-71 over Cape Verde to represent Asia in the Olympic Games in Paris. the sunsYuta Watanabe plus 29 points from former Washington State star Joshua Hawkinson.

South Sudan is a powerful story. Longtime NBA forward Leul Deng — who was born in Sudan but moved with his family to Egypt and then London as a child to escape the ravages of civil war in his homeland — is not only South Sudan’s basketball boss, but pretty much the president. Basketball is South Sudan. financed the construction of this team. South Sudan — which broke away from Sudan in 2011 and became an independent nation — is led by former NBA guard and current Rockets assistant Royal Ivy. After the historic victory Deng spoke with ESPN’s Brian Windhurst.

“It’s an unbelievable story. It’s a poor story, not just for South Sudan, not just for Africa, but for the rest of the world,” Deng said, fighting back tears. “It’s a feel-good story that most people can relate to. It’s a unique achievement because it goes beyond basketball.”

Deng recruited players with real talent and experience – not to mention ties to South Sudan – to play for the country. Against Angola, former Laker Venin Gabriel had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while J-League player Maral Shayuk shared a cup of coffee with the team. Year 76 In 2020, he scored 18 points. Former Baylor Bear Noni Umut added 17. Even with all that talent, South Sudan needed a little help to qualify for Paris, and they got it when New Zealand beat Egypt 88-86.

Japan also had emotional moments as they qualified for Paris in front of their home crowd in Okinawa.

Four teams have now qualified for the 12-team Paris Olympics men’s basketball tournament: host France (despite a disappointing World Cup performance), Oceania representative Australia, plus now South Sudan (Africa) and Japan ( Asia). Two teams from America and two teams from Europe will also qualify for Paris from this World Cup, but these places have not been determined yet. The final four positions of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament will be determined by the preliminary matches held next summer.

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