They are indeed the best of the best.
Whenever a FIBA World Cup tournament comes to a close, not only a new world champion is crowned but the best performers on the global stage are given recognition as well. For this year, a mix of familiar and new names make up the list of awardees.
Let’s begin with the highest individual honor or tournament MVP. Dennis Schroder of the World Cup champion Germany was the undisputed best player of the tourney. Norming 19.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game, he secured the plum sponsored by Tissot. Schroder’s stock has risen by multiple levels, especially after his 28-point outburst in the finals as the Germans outlasted Serbia.
The NBA veteran speedster, being the MVP, was automatically included in the FIBA World Cup All-Star Five. Schroder is accompanied by Serbian star Bogdan Bogdanovic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of bronze medalist Canada, Anthony Edwards of fourth-placer Team USA and Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic. All five have had their wow moments during the tourney.
Below are the insane per-game numbers of the rest of the World Cup first team.
Bogdanovic - 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 steals
Gilgeous-Alexander - 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.6 steals
Edwards - 18.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals
Doncic - 27 points ,7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.5 steals
The FIBA World Cup second team, meanwhile, is comprised of Latvian playmaker Arturs Zagars, Italian gunner Simone Fontecchio, Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania, Nikola Milutinov of Serbia and dynamic wingman Franz Wagner of Germany.
Check out their stellar pers across the tourney.
Zagars - 12.4 points, 7.4 assists
Fontecchio - 18.0 points, 5.6 rebounds
Valanciunas - 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks
Milutinov - 12.1 points, 8.4 rebounds
Wagner - 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists
Next accolade is the Best Defensive Player. Unsurprisingly, it went to The Villain, Dillon Brooks of Canada who went off in the bronze medal game, torching USA for 39 points.
The Best Coach award was given to Luca Banchi, mentor of feel-good team Latvia. Under his watch, Latvia finished fifth in its first-ever World Cup stint. The Latvians did it while playing beautifully, evident in their assist average of 24.4 per contest.
Lastly, 20-year-old Australian hooper Josh Giddey became the first ever recipient of the Wanda Rising Star award. To win the newly-minted trophy, candidates must be 21 years or younger and has played at least four games in the competition. Hitting 19.4 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Boomers, the OKC Thunder rising star was able to snatch the plum.
They are the world’s best basketball players, folks. Remember their names!