A Guide to the Georgia Men’s Basketball Team

16 Aug 2023


Since becoming a member of FIBA in 1992, the Georgia men’s basketball team have clinched qualification for FIBA EuroBasket five times. 2023 was their FIBA World Cup debut.  

Discover everything there is to know about the Georgia men’s basketball team with this comprehensive guide from the experts at Courtside 1891. 

2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball

The Georgia 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, Finland, Poland, Montenegro and Georgia.

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 Georgia Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023? 

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

  • Final Standing: 16th
  • Results: Played 5 Won 2 Lost 3 
  • Top Points Scorer: Goga Bitadze 68 PTS (13.6 PPG)
  • Top Assist Provider: Thaddus McFadden 22 AST (4.4 APG)
  • Most Efficient Player: Goga Bitadze 20.4 EPG

Rounding out the teams that made it to the Second Group Phase is Georgia - a great achievement for their debut World Cup. A team full of talented scorers, Goga Bitadze, Tornike Shengelia and Sandro Mamukelashvili all averaged over 12 points a game. Wins over Cape Verde and Venezuela sent them through Group F with Slovenia, before their defensive fragility saw them give up exactly 100 points to both Germany and Australia in the Second Group Phase. 

Check out highlights from their first-ever World Cup win against fellow debutants, Cape Verde, below. 

Cape Verde v Georgia - 5-min Game 

Team Presentation Video

Boost your knowledge about the Georgia basketball team with the help of this handy Team Discovery Video, which is packed with stats and info. 

Team Presentation - Georgia - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023


Georgia World Cup Qualification

Georgia began the qualification process for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in Group G, alongside Spain, Ukraine and North Macedonia. Here, they pulled off a remarkable upset, defeating Spain 82-76 in overtime in Tbilisi! They ended this phase with a 4-2 record, progressing in second place, behind Spain. 

As Russia had been expelled from the initial qualification phase, adjustments had to be made to the records of Spain, Georgia and Ukraine. This meant that each team’s wins over last-placed North Macedonia were not carried over to the next phase and Georgia advanced with a 2-2 record. 

In the final round of qualifying, Georgia was drawn in Group L, alongside Spain, Italy, Iceland, Ukraine and the Netherlands. Here, they stuttered to a 3-2 record in their first five games. This meant that their fate would be decided by the result of their final game at home against Iceland.  

Georgia went into this game knowing that a win or a defeat of no greater than three points was enough for qualification… and that’s exactly what happened. Iceland won the game 80-77. This meant that the two teams tied on overall record (5-5), points (15), and head-to-head record (165-165). But, Georgia ultimately edged out Iceland based on overall points difference (-19 vs -56) and claimed the final remaining spot at the World Cup. It was a remarkable finish to a 15-month qualifying campaign.

Best World Cup Qualifying Plays 

Coach Zouros relied on a stable core of players during qualifying, with Thad McFadden, Giorgi Shermadini and Kakhaber Jintcharadze all playing in each of the team’s 12 games. 

According to coach Zouros, Tornike Shengelia was the star of qualifying. In the final qualifying window, he scored 25 points in the team’s road victory against the Netherlands on Thursday, returned to play for his club on Friday and then came back for the national team’s deciding game against Iceland on Sunday, where he registered 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Talk about commitment! 

Overall, he scored 156 points in 255 minutes of action. He also grabbed 59 rebounds and dished out 28 assists, finishing the campaign with a cumulative +/- of +37. A special mention to McFadden who totaled the most points (226) and average minutes (35.9) out of all European teams during World Cup qualifying.

Interested in learning more about what to expect from Georgia in games at the World Cup? Take a look at their Top 10 plays from the qualification phase below. 

Best Plays - Georgia - FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Current Star Players 

Georgia announced their extended squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in July that saw them enter training camp at full strength for the tournament. 

Georgia’s leaders are two of the best players to ever don the national team’s jersey: Tornike Shengelia and Giorgi Shermadini. 

Shermadini has been a top player in Europe for many years and was named as the Player of the Year in Spain's Liga Endesa this season (now a two-time MVP winner). Meanwhile, earlier in his career, Shengelia enjoyed a couple of seasons in the NBA, where he played with the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls. But, he’s best known for being a star with Baskonia, CSKA Moscow and Virtus Bologna.

These two heavyweights of Georgian basketball will be joined by veteran guard Duda Sanadze, as well as NBA duo Goga Bitadze and Sandro Mamukelashvili. Added to this, Giorgi Tsintsadze- who has been with the national team since it played at the FIBA EuroBasket for the first time in 2011- has also been included in the extended roster.

Legends of the Team 

The current Georgian roster is packed with star players but the GOAT of Georgian basketball is undoubtedly Zaza Pachulia. 

A 6ft 11in center who could dominate the paint and relished a contest, Pachulia is remembered by many NBA fans for his controversial physical play style.. Ultimately, he enjoyed a 16-year career in the league, where he represented six franchises. You don’t stay in the league that long if you can’t contribute and Pachulia found his best role as a strong rebounding glue guy at the start of the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty run. During this time, he memorably won two rings with the Golden State Warriors and became the first Georgian player to claim an NBA Championship. 

From 2003 to 2017, he was a real leader for the Georgian basketball team and he represented his country at three editions of EuroBasket, as well as several preliminary rounds and qualification campaigns. 

Since his playing days ended, he’s returned to the Warriors, where he now works as a front office consultant, and won his third ring with GSW as an executive in 2022. 

Historical World Cup Performance

The Georgia basketball team made their debut at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023. 

A Luka Dončić-led Slovenia were the big favorites to top Group F, but this dangerous Georgia team is a physical match for any side, and so it proved, as they grabbed one of the top two spots over Cape Verde and Venezuela. 

Previous Successes and Tournament Wins

Until 1991, Georgia was part of the Soviet Union. The country joined FIBA in 1992 and since then they've been eligible to appear in EuroBasket and the Olympics. 

Basketball Georgia has never qualified for the Olympic Games, but they have made five appearances at FIBA EuroBasket. Their best finish came in their debut tournament in 2011, where they came 11th. 

How to Watch Georgia Men's Basketball 

With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Georgia 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.