Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic reacts to earning FIBA World Cup championship bid

Atlanta Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images) /

With a 95-86 victory over Canada, Atlanta Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic has led Serbia to the FIBA World Cup championship game.

“I don’t know what to do or say, I’m full of emotions,” Bogdanovic said, per BasketNews on September 8. “I’m very happy. We worked and trained a lot, and there were moments when we didn’t believe in that training, but it paid off. I’m glad we’re in the final, and now we need to prepare for that game.”

Bogdanovic poured in 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting including sinking 3-of-4 looks from beyond the arc. He also went 4-for-5 at the free throw line while adding four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block.

He also earned Player of the Game honors once again.


For the tournament, Bogdanovic ranks 11th with 19.4 points per game, shooting 51.7% overall. He is also shooting 40.4% from beyond the arc, a mark very similar to his 40.6% from last season. But while Bogdanovic – a captain for the Serbian team – is happy with how far the team has come, he knows there is still work left to be done.

“We have to [play] even better in the final, we can’t celebrate anything, it’s the final,” Bogdanovic said. “I know it’s euphoria, but that shouldn’t disturb us. There’s room for another trophy”

Bogdanovic said that he was hoping to match up against Team USA in the finals.

But they fell to a German squad led by former Hawks star and now Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder as well as Orlando Magic rising star Franz Wagner, his brother and Magic teammate, Moritz Wagner, and Indiana Pacers big man Daniel Theis.

Bogdanovic is one of just two players on Serbia’s roster who played in the NBA last season with Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic absent from the tournament coming off a championship run, though other players with experience could also be added. Nikola Jovic of the Miami Heat is the only other current player, though.

The Hawks swingman did note that Jokic “texts us after every game,” per George Efkarpides of EuroHoops.net on September 8.

Bogdanovic previously said that he had tried recruiting Jokic but to no avail.

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With his first made three in the semi-final matchup, Bogdanovic set a new tournament record for most consecutive games with a made three at 24.

“Basketball has changed, there’s a lot more threes, we are playing faster, and my work ethic altogether,” Bogdanovic said. “I didn’t come every year thinking I want to break this and that record, but I’m happy that I achieved that.”

His efforts in the tournament have not gone unnoticed by his Hawks teammates with big man Clint Capela tipping his cap to his fellow international NBA star.

World Cup Final,” Capela tweeted. “Go get it brate moj!!! Killer mentality”

Bogdanovic and Schroder will lead Serbia and Germany, respectively, into battle against one another on September 10 at 8:40 A.M. ET.

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USA and Canada will face off in the bronze medal game earlier that same day at 4:30 A.M. ET.