The FIBA 2023 Second Round basketball The World Cup qualifiers will soon be underway.
Window 4, which will run from August 22-30, 2022, will see the remaining 60 countries in the respective regions continue to battle as they seek a place at next year’s men’s world cup co-hosted by the Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Securing a ticket is not an easy task.
All teams are now split into two groups of six, with the exception of European countries which have been split into four groups of six. They need to keep winning games to finish as high as possible in their groups to have a chance of qualifying for the world cup.
Since there’s so much at stake, many countries have raided their talent pools and sent invites to their best to help bolster their offerings. And with the National Basketball Association (NBA) season not set to begin until October 18, those competing in America’s top league are gearing up in droves for a slice of international glory.
As the countdown continues to the start of the window, most teams have revealed who they’ve invited to their long rosters and there are a few names NBA fans will be more than familiar with.
Below we run the rule on some of the title names before Window 4 starts.
Note: The final lists will be confirmed after the technical meetings that take place before the start of each match.
MORE: FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers: Window 4 preview, schedules and stars to watch
Giannis Antetokounmpo in action for Greece at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
Photo by 2019 Getty Images
1- Giannis Antetokounmpo – Greece
Two-time NBA MVP and championship winner with the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the crown jewel of the Greek roster for the World Cup qualifiers and EuroBasket that will take place right after.
The 2.11m giant, affectionately known as the ‘Greek Monster’, enters the fold to try and bolster his country’s chances of entering other worlds after already competing in the showpiece event in 2019.
For those wondering how the 27-year-old striker intends to approach national duty, Antetokounmpo was instrumental in Greece’s victory over current world champions Spain in a friendly match organized before the playoffs.
In his 50th appearance, Antetokounmpo netted 31 points in just 20 minutes to produce his best performance ever with the Greek side making seven of 10 free throws, nine of 10 two-pointers and two of three three-pointers.
Joining Giannis will be the guard for the Dallas Mavericks Tyler Dorsey as well as Kostas and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
2- Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier – France
France will have a packed roster of NBA stars for qualifying and EuroBasket afterwards.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalists feature team featuring Minnesota Timberwolves’ new big man Rudy Gobert, New York Knicks Evan FournierAtlanta Hawks Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Theo Maledon thunder from Oklahoma City.
Duo of renowned superstars and best friends, Gobert and Fournier have both signaled their intention to win international silverware to end the nine-year drought since the country won a major basketball title.
Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic in a friendly match between Serbia and Slovenia in August 2022
Photo by 2022 Getty Images
3- Nikola Jokic – Serbia
Two-time reigning NBA MVP when it comes to leading from the front, it doesn’t get any better than Serbia Nikola Jokic.
Having last represented his team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, Jokic said his team’s mission is to bring Serbia to the next event. It’s a promise with a lot of expectations, especially because the Serbs failed to make it to the Tokyo Olympics after failing in the last hurdle against Italy in 2020.
Jokic, colloquially known as ‘The Joker’, will be of vital importance to his country.
This year, in his seventh NBA season, the 27-year-old confirmed his third All-NBA First Team selection in four years; his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance; became the first in NBA history to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists by a single player and received the honor of becoming the 13th consecutive MVP winner in league history.
Chimezie Metu defends Nicolo Melli at Tokyo 2020 in 2021
Photo by 2021 Getty Images
4- Chimezie Metu and Josh Okogie – Nigeria
Nigeria’s D’Tigers head to African qualifiers hoping to be bolstered by both Chimezie Metu and Josh Okgie having officially invited both players to the team.
Sacramento Kings’ Metu received a pat on the shoulder after putting in an impressive performance against Uganda in Window 3 while Okogie, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, also got the call.
If both players make it to the final roster, Nigeria hopes they will be at their best.
Not only have the team secured two wins from four games, results they will carry through to the second round, but they will face a so far unbeaten Ivory Coast in their opening game. They will then face Guinea and Angola.
It will be a tall mountain to climb, but for the Nigerian squad that made it to Tokyo 2020, securing back-to-back World Cup appearances is a point of pride and one they will fight for.
Watanabe Yuta in action at the FIBA Asia Cup in July 2022
Photo by 2022 Getty Images
5- Watanabe Yuta – Japan
Toronto Raptors star Watanabe Yuta is a must-see name on Japan’s preliminary roster.
While the country may have already qualified for 2023 by being one of the competition’s co-hosts, the Akatsuki Five still take qualifying seriously, which means inviting in the big guns like Watanabe.
The 27-year-old picked up a sprained ankle which ruled him out of the 2022 Asian Cup last month, but it looks like he’s now back to full fitness after being named alongside his teammates of the tournament: Hariomoto Tenketsu, Suda Yutaroh, Togashi Yuki, Yoshii Hirotaka, Nishida Yudai, Unheard soichiroand Kawamura Yuki.
6- Luka Doncic – Slovenia
Hot off the heels of turning on Window 3, the Dallas Mavericks Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic will remain in the squad for window 4 of the world cup qualifiers.
The 24-year-old immediately turned things around for his country in July, leading Slovenia to two important wins against Sweden and Croatia.
Doncic’s performance on the Scandinavian country was particularly impressive. The point guard scored 31 points, took 10 rebounds and produced six assists to ward off the opponent and win 84-81.
Having made no secret of his ambition to win the silverware in his national Doncic jersey, alongside Goran Dragic who just signed with the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets Vlatko Cancarwill be an important piece of the puzzle for Slovenia as they bid to clinch a World Cup berth and go the distance at EuroBasket soon after the qualifiers end.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in action for Oklahoma City Thunder
Photo by 2021 Getty Images
7- Shai Gilgeous-Alexandre – Canada
After missing out on Tokyo 2020, Canada is on a mission to bolster its international basketball program and that has involved securing the commitment of 14 players until Paris 2024.
Of these 14, which includes Jamal Murray and RJ Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder became a star for his country as they went through all qualifying windows undefeated.
Maintaining their winning streak is now Canada’s priority as they commit their resources to Window 4 in addition to the FIBA AmeriCup taking place in September.
Already Window 3 MVP Gilgeous-Alexander is growing in his role for Team Canada with other NBA teammates Kelly Olynik (Detroit Pistons), Nickeil Alexander Walker (Utah Jazz) and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks) who are expected to join the team for the next two game days.
How to watch: FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers Window 4
Some of Window 4’s matches will be available to view through FIBA’s broadcast partners around the world.
For live video and highlights, fans online can catch the action on Courtside 1891. More information on how you can watch can be found here.
Some geographic restrictions may apply.