Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokić to play for Serbia in 2019 FIBA World Cup

by Alex Labidou Staff Writer

Nikola Jokić hopes to cap off his breakout fourth season with an international medal.

The 24-year-old announced on Friday that he will be playing in the FIBA World Cup with his native Serbia.

“I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season, I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected in the NBA All-Star Five. For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team,” Jokić told Serbian State News Agency. “I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal.”

The announcement comes off what’s been an incredible campaign for the center. During the 2018-19 season, Jokić averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists while shooting 51 percent. He made his first All-Star appearance at the 2019 game in Charlotte and raised his game a notch at the postseason. Jokić became a household name during the playoffs as he dropped 25.1 points, 13.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game in 14 playoff appearances. Jokić was recognized for his stellar season by becoming the first Nugget since 1978 to get an All-NBA First Team nod. He is also the first Serbian to ever receive the honor.

READ MORE: Jokić joins exclusive All-NBA list for Denver Nuggets

As a member of the Serbia national team, Jokić has received two silver medals, with his last one coming in the 2016 Olympic Games against the U.S. after a 96-66 loss. In the Olympic qualifying tournament prior to that summer, he received tournament MVP honors. The 2019 FIBA World Cup will be in China and runs from August 31 through September 15. 


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