A Guide to the Slovenia Men’s Basketball Team

Courtside 1891 Editorial Team 02 Aug 2023


Keen to discover more about the Slovenia men’s basketball team and why they’ve become so successful in recent years? Here at Courtside 1891, we’ve created this in-depth guide. Read on to discover the team’s greatest performances, legendary players and current stars.

2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball

Having finished 4th at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in their first appearance, The Slovenia men's basketball team will be highly motivated to go a step further and secure a medal in Paris. Slovenia are confirmed as one of the 24 nations that will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024, which you can stream live with Courtside 1891. The tournaments are currently scheduled for July 2-7 2024. 

Four places remain to make up the twelve-team field that will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic basketball events will take place between 27th July and 10th of August 2024. The nations currently confirmed to participate are France (host), South Sudan, Serbia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia and the United States.

From Europe, the competing Olympic qualifying tournament nations are Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, Georgia, Finland, Poland and Slovenia.

Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Mexico advanced from the Americas region, following positive results at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will be joined by the Bahamas, who shocked Argentina in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in La Banda, Argentina.

Egypt, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon are the competing African nations.

From Asia and Oceania, the teams that advanced were Lebanon, the Philippines, New Zealand and Bahrain.

How Did Slovenia Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023? 

​​Here are the top stats from Slovenia's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign: 

  • Final Standing: 7th
  • Results: Played 8 Won 5 Lost 3 
  • Top Points Scorer: Luka Dončić 216 PTS (27 PPG)
  • Top Assist Provider: Luka Dončić 49 AST (6.1 APG)
  • Most Efficient Player: Luka Dončić 26 EPG

It always looked like an uphill battle for Slovenia to medal at this World Cup given the volume of injuries to key role players. And so it played out that way, with Luka's brilliance getting them over the top against their lesser opponents but not enough on his own to scalp the bigger nations they faced. 

Luka Dončić started all 8 games, consistently putting up big numbers. He became one of only 11 players to have scored 200+ points in a World Cup tournament. It earned him a place on the All-Star Five and helped his team earn a spot in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. Check out Dončić's top plays in Slovenia's final game against Italy that clinched Luka's place in the illustrious World Cup 200-point club.

Luka Doncic | Italy v Slovenia


Team Presentation Video

Looking to boost your knowledge about the Slovenian basketball team? Check out our Team Discovery Video released ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

This bite-size three-minute video is packed with facts you can share with your basketball buddies. 

Team presentation - Slovenia Team Presentation - Slovenia - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

  • Pre-World Cup FIBA Men’s World Ranking - 7th
  • 1 gold medal at FIBA EuroBasket (2017)
  • Finished 4th at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan 
  • Goran Dragić was named FIBA EuroBasket MVP in 2017
  • Luka Dončić was named MVP of the 2020 FIBA Qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympic Games 
  • Qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 4 times

Led by NBA star Luka Dončić, the Slovenian men’s basketball team is now one of Europe’s elite sides. After all, the team won a FIBA EuroBasket gold medal in 2017 and finished in fourth at the Olympics in 2020. 

Keen to discover more about the Slovenia men’s basketball team and why they’ve become so successful in recent years? Here at Courtside 1891, we’ve created this in-depth guide. Read on to discover the team’s greatest performances, legendary players and current stars. 

World Cup Qualification

It was nervy at times, but the Slovenia basketball team did ultimately qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup

They began the qualification process in Group C, alongside Finland, Sweden and Croatia. After several nail-biting ties, including a 76-74 win over Croatia and an 84-81 victory over Sweden, Slovenia lost back-to-back games against Finland. This meant they finished the group in second place, one point behind Finland. Thankfully, this was still good enough to progress to the second round of qualifying. 

At this stage, Slovenia competed in Group J, alongside Germany, Finland, Sweden, Israel and Estonia. An inspired 22-point performance from naturalized player, Jordan Morgan, against Germany put them clear of the chasing pack. Thankfully, despite stuttering to the finish line and losing both of their final two games in the group (to Estonia and Israel who both didn’t qualify), Slovenia held onto the third and final qualification spot. They ultimately finished with a 7-5 record in their 12 qualification games.

Best World Cup Qualifying Plays 

The qualification period for the FIBA Basketball World Cup overlapped with the NBA season, meaning star players Goran Dragić and Luka Dončić only featured for the side four times each. That said, Dončić still managed to pour in 100 points!

In their absence, Edo Murić led the Slovenia basketball team. In 10 appearances, he notched up 92 points, grabbed 55 rebounds and finished the qualifying campaign with a cumulative +/- of +42. Sadly for Edo, he suffered a serious knee injury towards the end of his domestic season and will miss the 2023 World Cup.

Interested in seeing the side’s best buckets from the qualification phase? Take a look at this video of their Top 10 plays. There are a couple of highlight-reel dunks from superstar Dončić that grabbed the headlines, but the way Gregor Glas sends the Israel defense stumbling is particularly worth looking out for. 

Best Plays - Slovenia

Best Plays - Slovenia - FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Current Star Players

Slovenia announced its 20-player extended roster for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup on July 3, 2023. While current NBA champion Vlatko Čančar and Slovenia legend Goran Dragić made the squad list alongside Olympian Klemen Prepelič, all three would ultimately fail to prove their fitness and play in the tournament. Therefore fans were focused on one name in particular: Luka Dončić. 

Nicknamed ‘El Niño Maravilla’ (The Wonder Boy) at just 16 during his early playing days in Spain, Dončić is a skillful point guard with the size and frame of a forward. Versatile on the offensive end, he has the rare ability to match his excellent court vision and high basketball IQ with a silky smooth shooting form and physique that can bump even the biggest defenders when attacking the lane. 

Dončić made his debut with the national side aged 17. Only a year later, he helped his country win a gold medal at FIBA EuroBasket. His contribution in the tournament was so significant that he was named to the All-Tournament Team. 

In 2020, Dončić featured for Slovenia in the side’s first Olympic appearance. He scored 48 points on his debut in the tournament and continued to be a force throughout. Basketball Slovenia ultimately lost the bronze medal match, but Dončić was still selected to the FIBA All-Star Five. 

2023 marked Dončić’s debut at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and anticipation levels were high. After all, as well as excelling for Slovenia, Dončić has also dominated the EuroLeague with Real Madrid and has established himself as a bonafide NBA star with the Dallas Mavericks. He’s been voted to the All-NBA First Team every year since 2020 and he’s also been named as an All-Star every year during the same period. 

His supporting cast is led by center, Mike Tobey who knows Luka's game well and was selected as Slovenia’s one naturalized pick. Aleksej Nikolić will join him in the starting backcourt while 22-year-old talents Ziga Samar (point guard) and Bine Prepelič (power forward) will be looking to gain valuable experience that can help Luka taste international success over the next decade.

Legends of the Team 

Luka Dončić may be seen as the current star of Slovenian basketball, but Goran Dragić has been central to the side’s brilliance since he made his debut back in 2006. 

At EuroBasket 2017, Dragić really announced himself on the world stage. He powered Slovenia to the country’s first ever FIBA European championship, scoring 35 points on 12-22 shooting in the final. Following his outstanding performance, Dragić was named as the tournament’s MVP. 

Although he announced his decision to retire from national team duty at the conclusion of EuroBasket 2017, Dragić returned to the fold and helped Slovenia qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He also featured at EuroBasket 2022, when Slovenia were surprisingly eliminated by Poland in the quarter-finals. 

As well as enjoying a stellar international career, Goran ‘the Dragon’ Dragić has enjoyed a long NBA career at the top level. Currently a free agent, Dragić has enjoyed a 15-year career where he’s featured for seven different NBA ball clubs. The highlight of his NBA career came in 2018, when he was named as an All-Star. He also claimed the Most Improved Player award and was voted to the All-NBA Third Team while on the Phoenix Suns in 2014. 

Historical World Cup Performance

Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia until the 1990 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Following independence, Slovenia have not made an impact at the tournament. They’ve actually failed to qualify on four occasions and have only taken part three times. Their best finish came in 2014, when they finished 7th. 

Previous Successes and Tournament Wins

Slovenia have only competed at the Summer Olympics once, in 2020. However, the side’s only appearance to date was highly successful. In their Olympic debut, the side finished fourth and Luka Dončić was named in the FIBA All-Star Five. 

The side have also qualified for FIBA EuroBasket every year since the country joined FIBA in 1992. Since the turn of the century, they’ve become perennial contenders for the title. They finally claimed gold in 2017, when Goran Dragić was named as the tournament’s MVP. 

How to Watch Slovenia Men's Basketball 

With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Slovenia compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (FOQTs) 2024. We stream every game of FIBA international tournaments as well as other competitions from around the world. 

As FIBA’s premium streaming partner for the World Cup, Courtside 1891 provided access to every 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup game! Watch the competition's biggest games and best moments on-demand on our FIBA Basketball World Cup page. 

The best way to make sure that you never miss a single second of the upcoming action is to download our app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, or sign up to our website platform. Please be aware that, due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, access to some games might be restricted depending on your location. See our where-to-watch page for full details of upcoming competitions.

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World Cup available to stream on Courtside 1891