German basketball player Daniel Theis prioritizes playing in Olympics

news 20-Jun-2023 Sport

Theis before Basketball World Cup: Direct Olympic qualification in sight

German basketball professional Daniel Theis sees the national team as more popular than ever among NBA players.

"None of the European Championship team had doubts about playing again. Maxi Kleber is also eager to play. For me, playing in the Olympics is a goal. I hope that we have a very successful World Cup and that we don't have to go through the Olympic qualification tournament", Theis said in the NBA basketball podcast. Germany is considered one of the favorites to win the World Cup in Asia (August 25th to September 10th). To secure a direct ticket for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, you would need to be one of the two best European teams.

In the preliminary round group in Okinawa, Germany will play against hosts Japan, Australia, and Finland. "Last year, the tough group helped us to get into the tournament quickly. We need to be there from the start", Theis said. The group is considered rather challenging. All twelve bronze medalists from the European Championship are in the provisional squad, and additional NBA players like Kleber and Moritz Wagner could join.

The team spirit has continued to grow since the coaching change in 2021. "A lot of credit goes to Gordon Herbert. Everyone put the team first. Team success is paramount. We were happy for each other", said the 31-year-old. Before the World Cup, the German team will play test games in Bonn and Berlin, the Supercup in Hamburg, and a show tournament in Abu Dhabi, where they will face off against World Cup favorites USA and Greece.

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