A Guide to the Montenegro Men’s Basketball Team

12 Aug 2023


Keen to learn more about the Montenegro men’s basketball team and how they performed at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023? The experts at Courtside 1891 have put together this comprehensive guide. So, read on to discover everything you need to know.

Since the Montenegro men’s basketball team joined FIBA in 2006, they’ve qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup twice and for FIBA EuroBasket on four occasions. 

An emerging basketball programme, Montenegro, has embraced the popular Montenegrin nickname ‘Crna Gora’ (The Black Mountain). They have enjoyed a great amount of success at smaller tournaments like The Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE), where they’ve won two golds and a silver medal since 2015. 


2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball

The Montenegro men's basketball team 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 Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Georgia, Finland, Poland and Montenegro.

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 Montenegro Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023? 

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

  • Final Standing: 11th
  • Results: Played 5 Won 3 Lost 2 
  • Top Points Scorer: Nikola Vučević 99 PTS (19.8 PPG)
  • Top Assist Provider: Kendrick Perry 22 AST (5.5 APG)
  • Most Efficient Player: Nikola Vučević 24.0 EPG

11th place represents the nation's best finish at a major global tournament. Montenegro played to their increasingly high level in the 2023 World Cup, defeating Mexico, and Egypt before losing to superior opposition in Lithuania and the USA. A final group phase matchup with Greece would determine which nation would finish with a winning campaign record, and it was Montenegro who got the W, thanks to a big performance from their star man, Nikola Vučević. Check out his game MVP highlights below. 

Nikola Vucevic | Greece v Montenegro

Team Presentation Video

Boost your knowledge about Montenegro with this handy Team Discovery Video. Released ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, it will provide you with plenty of facts you can drop on your basketball buddies.  

Team Presentation - Montenegro - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

Montenegro Basketball World Cup Qualification

As they did not directly qualify for EuroBasket 2022 (they did ultimately feature at the tournament after Russia were expelled), the Montenegrin side started the qualification process for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in the second round of the European pre-qualifiers. 

Here, they were drawn alongside Iceland and Denmark. Montenegro hosted this group and dominated it, winning all four of their games.  

For the first round of qualifying proper, the team was drawn in Group E. This time, they squared off against France, Hungary and Portugal. Here, they cruised to a 4-2 record and even recorded a memorable victory at home against France! 

In the final qualification phase, Montenegro took their place in Group K, alongside France, Lithuania, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czechia. While France, Lithuania and Czechia were all ranked higher in the official FIBA rankings, Montenegro battled to a 3-3 record, which was good enough for third place in the group and automatic qualification for the big show. They sealed the deal in their final game, when they beat Czechia 88-70 at home. 

Best World Cup Qualifying Plays 

Throughout qualification, Montenegro were anchored by Nemanja Radović and Zoran Nikolić, who both featured in 12 games each. Star player Nikola Vučević did not feature at all, as many of the team’s games overlapped with his NBA commitments. 

Many of the side’s highlights from the qualifiers feature Vladimir Mihailović, who played in 10 games. An athletic guard, Mihailović used his speed and tight handle to beat defenses and pour in 150 points and dish out 22 assists. 

Check out the side’s Top 10 plays from qualifying below, and keep an eye out for Mihailović’s three-pointer against Bosnia and Herzegovina. His crossover drops the defender and leaves him languishing on the floor while the basket swishes behind him! 

Best Plays - Montenegro - FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Current Star Players 

Montenegro announced an expanded preliminary roster for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 that featured 24 names. Star attractions include Nikola Vučević, Bojan Dubljević and embedded naturalized player, Kendrick Perry, who enjoyed a Basketball Champions League (BCL) Final Four run with Spanish outfit, Unicaja.

Vučević, a 12-year NBA vet and two-time NBA All-Star, led Montenegro in scoring at 14.6 points per game at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He’s also represented his country at the three editions of FIBA EuroBasket. 

When Vučević did not feature at EuroBasket 2022, Dubljević and Perry led their country to the Round of 16. They were supported by Nemanja Radović and Vladimir Mihailović, who also helped steer Montenegro through the World Cup qualifiers. Another name to look out for is Dino Radončić, who has good pedigree, having started his career with Real Madrid and is still under 25 years old. 

Legends of the Team 

Vučević is undoubtedly the current star of the Montenegro basketball team, but diehard fans of Crna Gora will tell you that Nikola Peković remains the finest player to ever don his country’s colors. 

A 6ft 11in center, Peković began his playing career in Europe before spending seven years with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Throughout a glittering domestic career, he won the EuroLeague, the GBL, the Greek Cup and a host of other titles. He was also a two-time All-EuroLeague selection. 

On the international stage, Peković represented the Montenegrin national team at EuroBasket 2011. Across 5 games, he averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

Peković retired in 2017 and he’s since moved into the operational side of the game. He’s currently the President of the Basketball Federation of Montenegro. 

Historical World Cup Performance

The Montenegro side made their first appearance at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019. At the time, they were the smallest country by terms of population to feature at the tournament (a fact that now belongs to Cape Verde, who have qualified for the first time in 2023). 

The 2019 team lost every game in their group, but they did claim their first Finals win when they overpowered Japan in the 17th-32nd place classification round. 

Previous Successes and Tournament Wins

Since 2011, the Montenegro basketball team have featured at FIBA EuroBasket four times. Their best finish to date is 13th, which they achieved in 2017 and 2022. 

As Montenegro has a population of less than one million, the country’s basketball team can compete at the Games of the Small States of Europe. Since their first appearance at the games in 2015, Basketball Montenegro have enjoyed a great amount of success, winning two golds and a silver in four appearances. 

How to Watch Montenegro Men's Basketball 

With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Montenegro 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.

Looking for the latest results from the world of basketball? Head over to the Courtside 1891 Game Center. Here you’ll also find matchup times in your country as well as easy-to-access game highlights you can watch when you register with Courtside 1891.