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World Basketball 2023: South Sudan's incredible journey to qualify for the Olympics

Soudan du Sud
World Basketball 2023: South Sudan's incredible journey to qualify for the Olympics

South Sudan strikes hard on its debut at the Basketball World Cup. The Bright Stars are the best African selection. The result is a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

South Sudan is writing a new chapter in its history. After the Afrobasket and the World Cup, the Bright Stars are about to discover the Olympic Games. They secured their ticket thanks to their victory over Angola (101-78) combined with Egypt's defeat by New Zealand (86-88). South Sudan thus becomes the third nation to qualify for the Olympics after France and Australia.

Nuni Omot , who scored 17 points against the Angolans, has been on cloud nine since this historic qualification. "It's incredible, it's a dream come true. We became an independent country in 2011. Everything has happened in the last two years... Nobody ever imagined or dreamed of this. Now we'll have the chance to cross the Olympic stage with our flag. I'm so moved right now. I'm just very lucky to be part of it," exclaimed the player.

South Sudan in the World Cup top 20

South Sudan have also been impressive at this World Cup. They ended the competition with three wins and two losses. The team coached by American Royal Ivey set the tone in their opening match against Puerto Rico. The Puerto Ricans will have their work cut out against this talented South Sudanese team. The Bright Stars narrowly lost in overtime (101-96). They then crushed China (89-69) in their second outing before being swept aside by Serbia, runners-up at the 2016 World Cup.

South Sudan, eliminated in the first round, put up a fierce fight in the classification matches.Luol Deng's country inflicted a thrashing on the Philippines (87-68), one of the tournament's hosts, before thrashing Angola (101-78). And the East African country can thank its point guard Carlik Jones. The naturalized American scored his third double-double of the tournament (26 points and 15 assists) against the Angolans. South Sudan also finished 17th in the World Cup, ahead of France. A huge achievement for a nation that became independent in 2011 and whose national basketball team only played its first official international in 2017, against Egypt. Under the leadership of Luol Deng, South Sudan has become a formidable team and could reign on the black continent.

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