Bogdan Bogdanovic: A Scoring Legend in the Making at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023
Bogdan Bogdanovic has been setting the basketball world on fire at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, solidifying his status as one of the greatest international players in the game’s history.
Today, he had a standout performance, leading Serbia to the Semi-Finals while facing Lithuania in the Quarter-Finals. His four successful layups in the first quarter hinted at what was to come for Lithuania. Bogdanovic relentlessly attacked the basket and finished the game with an impressive 21 points on just 13 field goal attempts, helping Serbia secure a spot in the top four.
One particular field goal held special significance: a three-point shot just before halftime that pushed Serbia ahead 49-38. This basket not only marked Bogdanovic’s place in the 400+ point club in World Cup games but also surpassed the legendary Drazen Petrovic (399 points) in the process.
What’s even more remarkable is that Bogdanovic is the only active player ranked so high on the all-time World Cup scorers list, sitting at 18th place with 404 points. He may climb even higher in the rankings before the tournament concludes in Manila.
Bogdanovic’s scoring consistency is remarkable. In the Semi-Finals, he will aim to become the first player in history to make a three-pointer in each of his 24 World Cup games, a record dating back to 1994. This achievement would surpass the previous record of 23 consecutive games held by Kirk Penney.
What’s truly impressive is that Bogdanovic’s scoring prowess has been evident since FIBA EuroBasket 2017 when he averaged 20.4 points per game. He followed this up with an average of 22.9 points per game in China at the FIBA World Cup 2019, where he accumulated the most points in the tournament.
Currently averaging 18.8 points per game in this World Cup, the question arises: can he maintain an average of at least 20.0 points per game in two consecutive World Cups? Only basketball legends like Oscar Schmidt, Andrew Gaze, Dirk Nowitzki, and Yao Ming have achieved this feat in the past.
Bogdanovic’s journey at the World Cup has not been without challenges. After a tough loss to Italy, Serbia faced a crucial game against the Dominican Republic with their tournament hopes on the line. In the Italy game, Bogdanovic struggled to find his shooting rhythm, converting only 4-of-16 field goals. However, he showed resilience by driving to the basket and making all six of his free throws in the fourth quarter.
Reflecting on his performance, Bogdanovic stated, “Honestly, it’s not like I’m choosing games when I’ll play well or I’ll play bad. It happens. I’m a man, it’s not like I missed intentionally… I don’t know what happened to me (against Italy), I believed for each shot that it was going in.”
Despite this off-night, Bogdanovic managed to contribute 18 points, a testament to his consistency.
In the subsequent game against the Dominican Republic, Bogdanovic set the tone early with 10 first-quarter points. He finished with 20 points, hitting all seven of his field goal attempts. Serbia cruised to victory.
As we look ahead to the remainder of the tournament, one thing is certain: we are witnessing the brilliance of an all-time great player in the prime of his career. Bogdan Bogdanovic’s scoring legacy at the FIBA Basketball World Cup is being etched in history with each basket, and fans around the world are privileged to witness his extraordinary talent.