Raptors guard Dennis Schröder has helped lead the German national team to a perfect 7-0 record at the 2023 World Cup ahead of Sunday’s final against Serbia. Germany’s captain says he hopes he’s helping basketball become more popular in his home country, as Aris Barkas of Eurhoops relays.
“I hope that basketball gets to be little bit more attractive and gets more attention,” Schröder said. “Because I’ve been here 10 years now, and from that point to this point, it’s a huge difference. And I’m glad that I can be a part of it. And try to put Germany, our country, on the map. And that’s the reason why I play a national team. I try to help others, like little guys coming up, same as me, 15 years ago. That they can make a difference take care of their families and play on big stages.”
The 30-year-old, who has averaged 17.9 points, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals thus far at the tournament (27.9 minutes), says doesn’t feel nervous ahead of the gold medal game, according to Barkas.
“I mean, when you play basketball, you compete on the highest level anyway,” said Schröder. “Every summer game, it’s the same game for me. Of course, it’s the World Cup, it’s a big honor to play in the finals. It’s something special, but at the end of the day, it’s still a game.”
Here’s more on tomorrow’s final:
- Magic big man Moritz Wagner says Germany’s upset over Team USA in the semifinal was a major milestone for the country, writes Cesare Milanti of Eurohoops. “Germany just made the World Cup final… I think this is the biggest win in German basketball history,” said Wagner, who finished with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting in 13 minutes in the victory.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic has been Serbia’s best player at the World Cup, and he says he’s thrilled to have secured another medal for the national team, which can finish no worse than second place (silver). “I’m really happy and grateful, and also happy for this team,” the Hawks swingman said, per George Efkarpides of Eurhoops. “I know how much effort we put in since day one; the coach was really hard on us, it was tough for me too. Being out of the national team for a couple of years, I forgot how it is. That struggle. In the NBA you have a guy to bring you towels, this and that, here you kind of have to do everything by yourself. We went through all this and made it to the finals.” Asked about Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, who chose to rest this summer after winning the NBA title, Bogdanovic said the Serbian star “texts us after every game.”
- Serbian head coach Svetislav Pesic led Germany to its lone EuroBasket gold medal in 1993. According to Barkas of Eurhoops, Pesic says he has fond memories of his time with the German Basketball Federation and respects the current group. “Both teams deserved to be in the final,” Pevic said. “Both teams demonstrated team basketball. I have, of course, and not only me but everybody, big respect for the German team. The German team is one team whose most important quality is continuity. They have played together for five years. This is a generational team and they played together excellently. They demonstrated one more time here in Manila.”