POINT 3's Social Media Specialist, Sam Meyerkopf, is in Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Here is Sam's fourth blog post from the World Cup as it moves into its final weekend!
by Sam Meyerkopf
The FIBA World Cup is coming to an end this weekend. For basketball fans around the world, it has been a great couple of weeks of action. Here are a few of our favorite things about the tournament!
1. Family Ties
Team Slovenia (photo: Sam Meyerkopf)
Playing with a brother or sister is a little bit different than a regular teammate. While you know your sibling inside and out, there is also a different type of competition. Take for example Slovenia’s Goran (Phoenix Suns) and Zoran (Unicaja Malaga in Spain) Dragic. Both guys have built great careers, but they don’t get to play together anymore, except during summers with their national team.
Goran Dragic on playing with his brother:
“It’s great. I miss him a lot, he’s in Spain and I’m in USA but you know we talk a lot by Skype or phone but it’s not the same. Now we have a perfect situation here to be together, we are in the same room so we can talk. You know it’s my brother, I love him so much and he is playing well so I’m happy.”
The Dragic’s weren’t the only brothers playing in this tournament. There were also Marc and Pau Gasol for Spain, Ksistof and Darjus Lavrinovic for Lithuania, and Corey and Tai Webster for New Zealand. Nothing quite beats the family bond of basketball!
2. Playing For Your Country
“It’s a bit different. (When I played for) Barcelona it is 12 of the greatest players in Europe and playing with these guys (Australia) is like playing with my family. You go into the pro club scene you don’t know guys. We come back every year here and the guys commit to playing because we love playing with each other. It’s a whole different kind of mindset really but one is more of a job and one is more the love of playing for your country.” – Joe Ingles, Australia
3. The Global Underdogs
Slovenia reached the round of 16, Lithuania the final four, before both fell to Team USA. Both countries are basketball-crazy, and their fans come out to support them in waves.
So put those numbers in perspective. What if Team USA had to field its team only from the state of Connecticut? What would that team look like, and how would it do on a world stage?
4. The Upsets
The France-Spain game was the shocker of the tournament as France beat the hosts and one of the tournament favorites along with the USA. As what happens sometimes when you play at home, the pressure overcomes the support and Spain couldn’t make a basket in the second half, going 2/22 on three-pointers. The atmosphere in Madrid was hostile and even though we now don’t get the much anticipated Spain-USA Final, games like this are what make a world tournament so great. You never know what is going to happen.
Look for our last post from the FIBA World Cup next week following the finals!