Arizona basketball alum Lauri Markkanen leads Finland to FIBA World Cup

Aug 28, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm
Lauri Markkanen of Finland shoots the ball during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifying gam...
Lauri Markkanen of Finland shoots the ball during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifying game between Croatia and Finland at Sports hall Zamet on July 3, 2022 in Rijeka, Croatia. (Photo by Goran Kovacic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)
(Photo by Goran Kovacic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats were well represented in Sunday’s FIBA Basketball World Cup European Qualifiers second round matchup between Finland and Estonia.

Former Wildcats big Lauri Markkanen led the Finnish squad to a 76-68 victory with 18 points on 50% shooting and nine boards.

Current Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa started on the other side, scoring 13 points on 11 shots.

Finland became the first European team to punch its ticket to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with Sunday’s win over Estonia paired with Sweden’s victory over Israel in Group J.

Finland led Sunday’s game by as many at 15 points, but Kriisa drilled a three-pointer to tie the game with 9:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Markkanen, though, made a couple of baskets in the period to help Finland pull away, including an exclamation point dunk with 19 seconds on the clock.

The forward, who spent the 2016-17 season with Arizona, is having quite a tournament averaging 21.8 points per game in four contests.

Former Arizona State wing Elias Valtonen also suited up Sunday, playing 14 minutes for Finland.

The 2023 World Cup will host 32 teams in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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Arizona basketball alum Lauri Markkanen leads Finland to FIBA World Cup