Basketball World Cup 2023: South Sudan will make history with third-youngest player ever in FIBA World Cup

Basketball World Cup 2023: South Sudan will make history with third-youngest player ever in FIBA World Cup

One of the youngest players to ever compete will be on the men’s national team of South Sudan when they hit the floor in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

On Thursday, Khaman Maluach, 16, was added to South Sudan’s 12-man World Cup roster. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, he will be the third-youngest athlete to ever suit up in the event, which began in 1950.

Around four years ago, the 7-foot-2 Maluach began playing basketball in Uganda. He later enrolled at the NBA Africa programme in Senegal, and together with Cui Yongxi, Josh Giddey, and Dyson Daniels, he is one of four players from the programme competing in the World Cup.

On schedule, Maluach will complete high school in the summer of 2025. Duke and UCLA have both extended scholarships offers to him, and because he was born outside of the United States in 2006, he will also be qualified to enter draft right away.

In July 2011, South Sudan separated from Sudan and became a member of FIBA two years later. At the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the squad, whose president is Luol Deng, will participate in its first international event outside of Africa.

The group’s first match will be against Puerto Rico in Group B on Saturday (4 a.m. EDT, ESPN+) in Manila, the Philippines. In order to complete the group stage, they will also play Serbia on Wednesday at 4 a.m. and China on Monday at 4 a.m.

Each group’s top two teams advance to the second round.

Wenyen Gabriel, a free agent, the Chicago Bulls’ Carlik Jones, the Maine Celtics’ Marial Shayok, and the former Iowan Peter Jok are the most prominent athletes from South Sudan. Prior to the occasion, the group had a 3-2 record in its exhibition programme.

Seven nations will participate in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in order to qualify for the Paris, France, Summer Olympics in 2024. The top two teams from the Americas and Europe (excluding the host France) as well as one team each from Africa, Asia, and Oceania make up the seven spots.


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