Credit: Team Slovenia
Credit Team Slovenia

The Slovenian basketball team was greeted like heroes back home. A team led by Luka Doncic competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in the nation's history and came very close to earning medals.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Position: SG
Age: 22
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 99 kg
Birth place: Slovenia

Despite losing the last two games of the competition - a semifinal match against France and a bronze-medal game against Australia - Slovenia came home like winners. Thousands of fans at Ljubljana international airport welcomed Luka Doncic and his teammates on Sunday.

“I want to thank everyone for staying up at night to support us,” said Doncic to the crowd. “We know you were with us. Without the fans there, it really was not the same.”

Doncic was named to the tournament's All-Star Five, after averaging 23.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 9.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest. He went 17 straight games without a loss with the Slovenian national team before falling to France in the semifinal. Slovenia swept Group C featuring Spain, Argentina, and host Japan, and also beat Germany in the quarterfinals, but then lost to France in the semifinals and to Australia in the bronze medal game.

“The worst part was after our last loss. We really wanted to win a medal,” confessed Doncic, “After a sleepless night, we came to terms with the fact that we achieved great success in our first Olympic Games.”

The tournament MVP Kevin Durant, Patty Mills, Rudy Gobert, and Ricky Rubio joined Doncic on the All-Star Five team.

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