Family affair as Germany’s Wagner bros relish first title together with parents in Manila

Germany wins the Fiba World Cup after beating Serbia in the final. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Brothers Franz and Mo Wagner cherished their first championship together after Germany ruled the Fiba World Cup 2023 with an 83-77 win over Serbia in the final on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Wagner brothers, who are both playing for the Orlando Magic in the NBA, said it felt surreal being a big part of Germany’s historic 8-0 title run and winning their first gold together in the world basketball spectacle.

“It’s special, especially that our parents are here, too. This is so surreal. It doesn’t make sense that we’re both in this team and can enjoy it together so we’re having a good night,” said Franz after putting up 19 points and seven rebounds.

The 26-year-old Moritz agreed with his younger brother that their achievement is nothing less than special for their family. But he attributed their success to the whole team’s belief.

“It’s hard work, it’s a lot of belief. You got to start with belief. If you don’t believe in that, you got to do that. There’s an opportunity to say how much you can do if you can believe. It’s really cool to do this with all these guys,” said Mo.

Franz, who was part of the Fiba World Cup 2023 All-Second team, missed most of their group phase due to an ankle sprain. But he showed no signs of slowing down from his injury when he led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds in the quarterfinal to eliminate Latvia and help the Germans stun Team USA in the semifinal before completing the sweep against Serbia.

Franz Moritz Wagner Germany Fiba World Cup

“It’s really tough. The competition level is so high. The whole game wasn’t really easy I think the guys that went out all did a great job,” said Franz, a member of the 2022 NBA All-Rookie first team. “All 12 guys did a great job of playing basketball and sticking together and I think that’s a huge part of why we won as well.”

“I think we’re just a great team. We can’t just pick out one guy. We stick together as a group through tough times and I mean that’s what made a huge difference,” he added.

Franz said that Germany is just getting started as they eye the gold in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“We’re here to stay. You know we can still get better and we’re gonna be here for a while,” he said. “I’m hungry but I also want to celebrate. Thanks for all the support, we definitely felt it here in Manila. We hope to get it going.”

For now, the Wagner brothers will celebrate with their team and the whole country with the hope that their success will change the landscape of German basketball.

“Huge party for sure, we’re gonna enjoy this one. Not just today, the next couple of weeks but yeah, it’s just cool to be part of this movement in Germany. Hopefully, we can see more of this development, more kids playing basketball in Germany,” Franz said. “We need more TV for basketball so I’m a huge advocate of that, that we show more live basketball at home so just more people get exposed to the sport.”

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