The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw, presented by Wanda, will be held in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. It is now time to meet the 32 teams that will compete for the prestigious title.
Cape Verde, the smallest country to ever qualify for the Basketball World Cup, is all set to make its historic debut this summer. Qualification of such a small country is not only an accomplishment in itself but also a chance for the country to showcase its talent at a global stage. Let’s talk in-depth about Cape Verde’s journey to the World Cup and its players to watch.
Cape Verde: A Historic Debut
Cape Verde has created history by becoming the smallest nation by population to reach the global showcase. Their qualification came in the final game of the African Qualifiers, which followed Cape Verde reaching the Semi-Finals of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021. They ended up taking fourth place in their first continental top-four showing since 2007. This is an incredible achievement for a country with a population of around half a million.
This qualification makes Cape Verde's debut at the FIBA Basketball World Cup all the more important. For a small country like Cape Verde, qualifying for such an esteemed competition could bring a lot of attention towards the country, creating an opportunity to promote their talent globally. The team is excited to not just make their presence felt but also to showcase what they have to offer.
Players to Watch
Though Cape Verde might be the smallest nation to qualify for the World Cup, the team is surely not short on talent. Cape Verde will feature one of the best big men in the World Cup in star Walter Tavares. The Spain-based center is known for his impressive game at both ends of the floor. But Tavares is not the only star in the team; Cape Verde also has other experienced players with impressive skills that the world will witness this summer.
Joel Almeida, who is 37 years old, has played all 10 of Cape Verde's qualifying games, showing his consistency and productivity. Ivan Almeida, who will also be 34, got the opportunity to play all the qualifying games and proved his mettle. The 39-year-old Fidel Mendonca, and Jeffrey Xavier, who came out of retirement during the qualification campaign, will both be 38. Additionally, Betinho Gomes will also be 38. Walter Tavares is 31 already, and Shane Da Rosa, Kevin Coronel, and Kenneti Mendes are all on the other side of 30 as well.
The country’s biggest hope for the future is Williams Tavares, the 27-year-old who plays in Bulgaria. Along with Williams, Anderson Correia, Patrick Lima, Kevin Gomes, Luis Texeira, and Victor Toyo will use this experience to help lead the next generation of players.
Overall, the 32 participating teams have a lot at stake at the Basketball World Cup, and Cape Verde is undoubtedly one of the most awaited squads. Their journey towards qualification has already created a buzz as one of the smallest nations to achieve this feat. This is the perfect opportunity for them to showcase what they have to offer and prove that they belong on the world stage.