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  • Johannes Nusko

Players to watch at the FIBA WORLD CUP 2023

Aktualisiert: 10. Apr.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is in full effect. With the quarterfinals ahead, it’s time to take a closer look. Eight teams are left, some upsets are behind us and most important: many players that Stefan Weissenboeck has worked with are still active in the World Cup.

Known as an energizer, the first player worked with Stefan for a couple of months. Michael Carrera was part of the Venezuelan roster and played in two games. He delivered his best performance in the 85:100-loss against Slovenia. He put up ten points, four rebounds and two assists to go along with one steal.


The second Bamberg player that only got to work with Stefan for a short period of time is Vaidas Kariniauskas. However, he played a big part in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament so far. Kariniauskas and the Lithuanian team won against the highly favored US squad. The guard put up huge numbers. His 15 points came along with four rebounds and two assists. He hit both of his three-point shots and played 17 minutes in the 110:104-win.

Kariniauskas is one of nine players who have reached the quarterfinals. Next up are two former Bamberg players. The first of them is Nicolo Melli. The Italian big man plays a major role for the two-time European champions. Italy just won against Serbia and Puerto Rico to come out on top of their group before reaching the quarterfinals. In those two games, Nicolo scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Next up, he and his teammates will face the USA.

During his time in Bamberg, Nicolo played together with Ali Nikolic who is also a quarterfinalist. Nikolic and the Slovenian national team just lost to the German squad but managed to gather four wins prior to that. Ali started against Germany, scored seven points and had five assists. He is also the team’s second-best passer (3.4 assists). Their next game will be played in Manila where they will face the Canadians.


The biggest group of players who have worked with Stefan plays for the German national team. Besides Daniel Theis, Maodo Lô, Andreas Obst and Johannes Thiemann who have all been part of Bamberg teams, Nils Giffey has also worked together with Stefan. In a well-balanced German team, all five players make an impact. Of course, there is Andi Obst who can run hot from three point range at any given time, proving his touch with 42.9 percent from behind the arc. The two big men in Daniel and Johannes provide a threat to any defense from inside as well as from distance. Daniel Theis is one of Dennis Schröder’s main targets in the pick and roll as well the team’s third best scorer (11.0 points) and best rebounder (4.8 rebounds). Johannes Thiemann’s post moves are elite and he has also hit 40% from deep so far. Maodo Lô plays a huge part in coach Gordon Herbert’s offense. In the game against Georgia he hit every single one of his six three point shots and finished with 18 points and five assists. And to top things of, Nils Giffey’s role as an allrounder is just as important, doing a little bit of everything (4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1 assist in 14 minutes).

The ninth and last player is Rodions Kurucs. Stefan and him worked together while Stefan was a player development coach at the Brooklyn Nets. He and the Latvian team proved many experts wrong and a are now also part of the quarterfinals. Just recently they won against Spain and Brazil. In those game, Kurucs summed up 20 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and playing for an average of 25:30 minutes during those two wins.

The Latvians will now be the next opponent for the German team, so be sure to watch out for six players who have all worked out with Stefan at some point of their careers.

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