Five Jazz Players To Compete At FIBA World Cup This Month

Aug 2, 2023, 3:55 PM | Updated: 3:57 pm

Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz is introduced prior to the 2023 NBA All Star Starry 3-Point Co...

Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz is introduced prior to the 2023 NBA All Star Starry 3-Point Contest at Vivint Arena (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Five members of the Utah Jazz will represent their countries in the FIBA World Cup which begins later this month.

Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Kelly Olynyk, and Simone Fontecchio will represent five of the 32 teams taking part in the World Cup.

The tournament will be played in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10.

Which Utah Jazz Players Are In The FIBA World Cup?

Lauri Markkanen – Finland

All-Star Lauri Markkanen will return to the Finnish national team where he had a breakout performance last summer before joining the Jazz.

During the FIBA EuroBasket Tournament, Markkanen averaged 28 points and eight rebounds including a 43-point outing in an upset win over Croatia.

Markkanen will be playing in Group E against Australia, Japan, and Germany.

The Finnish national team opens group play against Australia on August 25.

Jordan Clarkson – Philippines

Clarkson returns to represent the Philippines in the FIBA Qualifiers last season and averaged 25 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in two appearances.

The Philippines automatically qualified as one of the three host countries for the World Cup.

Clarkson is set to join the team later this month as they play in front of a home crowd in Manila.

Competing in Group A, the Filipino roster will face the Dominican Republic on August 25 before matchups with Angola and Italy.

Walker Kessler – USA

Kessler is the lone member of Team USA from the Jazz and will have to fight for minutes on a roster loaded with NBA talent.

The Jazz big man will wear number 14 for Team USA as camp opens before competing in four exhibition games.

Team USA is in Group C paired with Jordan, New Zealand, and Greece.

Kessler will make his World Cup debut when Team USA hosts New Zealand on August 26.

Kelly Olynyk – Canada

Olynyk will rejoin Team Canada after a strong four-game stretch last summer in which the big man averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Canada is one of the most talented teams in the FIBA World Cup featuring 10 total NBA players including Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and former Jazzman Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

The Canadians will compete in Group H against France, Latvia, and Lebanon.

Canada will open play against Rudy Gobert and France on August 25.

Simone Fontecchio – Italy

Fontecchio returns to play for the Italian national team after averaging 21 points, five rebounds, and 3.3 assists in three appearances in last year’s qualifiers.

The Jazz wing is the lone NBA player to suit up for the Italian roster this summer.

Italy will compete in Group A against Clarkson and the Philippines, Angola, and the Dominic Republic.

Fontecchip and Italy will open World Cup play against Angola on August 25.

Other FIBA World Cup Players Of Note

In addition to five current Jazz players, several former fan favorites will suit up for their national teams this summer.

Dante Exum and Joe Ingles will both compete for Australia in Group E, including a matchup against Markkanen and Finland on August 25.

Raul Neto will represent Brazil in Group G, and will face off against Ricky Rubio and Spain on August 28.

Former NBA MVPs Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic will all take part in the FIBA World Cup, as will Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Five Jazz Players To Compete At FIBA World Cup This Month