Germany celebrating a 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup title. Germany celebrating a 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup title. (@FIBAWC on Twitter.)

For just the seventh time since the event’s founding in 1950, a first-time winner earned the FIBA Basketball World Championship. That would be Germany, which followed up their 113-111 win over Team USA in the semifinals Friday with an 83-77 victory against Serbia in the final Sunday to claim the Naismith Trophy. Germany’s previous best in this tournament was a bronze medal in 2002: the previous tournaments had been won by the U.S., Yugoslavia (five times each), the Soviet Union (three times), Brazil, Spain (twice each), and Argentina (once).

Toronto Raptors’ guard Dennis Schröder led the way for Germany with 28 points, two rebounds, and two assists in the gold-medal game and was named tournament MVP. Orlando Magic small forward Franz Wagner added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Germans, including a 10 of 11 performance from the free-throw line. In comparison, Olympia Milano center Johannes Voigtmann had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Partizan’s Aleksa Avramović had 21 points for Serbia, and Detroit Pistons’ small forward Bojan Bogdanović chipped in 19. The Serbian team was a bit shorthanded; Nikola Jokić opted out of the tournament to rest after leading the Denver Nuggets to an NBA title, two-time Euroleague Final Four MVP Vasilije Micić didn’t play after signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this summer, and forward Borisa Simanic had to exit the tournament following emergency surgery to remove a kidney after an on-court blow. But Serbia still made an impressive run, knocking off Canada in the semifinals and making this final.

This victory capped off an 8-0 run at the tournament for Germany, making them the fifth-straight FIBA Basketball World Cup champion to make an undefeated run through the tournament. German coach Gordie Herbert, a Canadian who took that job in 2021 and boosted expectations with their run to a bronze medal at EuroBasket 2022, said afterward this was “surreal.”

“It’s a little bit of a surreal moment,” Herbert said. “It’s like I told the players. It’s a tremendous group of players, but we were a team first. Guys cared about each other and they challenged each other.”

FIBA announced the all-tournament team after the gold-medal game, featuring Schröder, Bogdanović, Canada’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Team USA’s Anthony Edwards, and Slovenia’s Luka Dončić. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points in Canada’s 127-118 victory over the U.S. in the bronze-medal game earlier Sunday.

[The Associated Press, ESPN; image from @FIBAWC on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.