The best young players of the 2023 FIBA World Cup

24/Aug/23 18:18 August 24, 2023

Giannis Askounis

24/Aug/23 18:18

Players to watch in the 2023 FIBA World Cup include plenty of young upstarts ready to shine in the international tournament

By Utkan Sahin, adapted by Johnny Askounis/

It is common to see young stars leaving their marks through their respective national teams in major tournaments.

Launching a storied international career in 2001, Pau Gasol was the driving force for Spain in winning the EuroBasket bronze medal. He was merely 21.

At 21 as well, Dirk Nowitzki averaged 15 points per game carrying Germany to a seventh-place finish in the 1999 edition of EuroBasket. Three years later, he got his first medal in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

In a similar spectacular introduction, Luka Doncic was just 18 when he helped Slovenia in the history-making triumph in the 2017 EuroBasket.

Moving on, despite many more examples, it is impossible to predict which promising upstarts will stand out in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. However, many youngsters are ready to display their talents in FIBA’s flagship event.

Eurohoops reviewed the squads of the 32 participating national teams to shape an extensive list of young players set for action in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.

Below are the must-watch youngsters of the 2023 FIBA World Cup:

NOTE: Players listed are at most 21.

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Kai Sotto (21) – Philippines

Coming off the NBA Summer League, Filipino sensation Kai Sotto is heading to the World Cup.

Joining the Orlando Magic earlier in the offseason, he was a hit with the fans, especially the loyals from the Philippines, but did not earn significant playing time. A different situation is coming up.

Following Jordan Clarkson, Sotto will be second on the hierarchy of the national team of his country. His height of 2.21 meters immediately attracts attention, combined with his talent, in a relatively short team.

Due to his injury, he missed large chunks of the training camp. But he is cleared to play in the World Cup. Depending on his showings, he can seek an upgrade to his career, besides pushing the Philippines closer to an extended run in the tournament.

In any case, his impressive following makes him an intriguing prospect for any team from the NBA to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.