Is the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Luis Scola's last hurrah?

After a long and storied career, the forward is close to retirement. Tokyo 2020 is looming - but it's uncertain whether the 2004 Olympic champion will be there.

By ZK Goh ·

Luis Scola has won it all internationally. Well, nearly all.

He's yet to win the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the only major title missing from his collection with Argentina's national team.

The 39-year-old has won five major honours: Olympic gold at Athens 2004, this year's Pan-American Games title, the FIBA Diamond Ball in 2008, and two FIBA Americas Championships in 2001 and 2011.

With the 2019 World Cup underway in China, Scola is once again in the limelight as Argentina aim for silverware.

But is the last remaining player from Argentina's Golden Generation about to call it quits?

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Retirement plans?

Argentina has not won the Basketball World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1950.

There is an added incentive to progress in this year's tournament, with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification (two spots for teams from the Americas) on the line.

Scola has suggested it could be his last hurrah before retirement.

Speaking to Clarín before the tournament, the 10-season NBA player who is currently a free agent said: "I'm going to the World Cup without a team, and if we don't qualify for the Olympic Games, I have no intention of playing in any other team.

"Afterwards, things can change, I can change my mind. We could qualify for the Olympics and I could talk about it again, but for now, I'm committed to basketball until the World Cup.

"When it ends, we will see what the situation is, how it involves me, and I will take the decision that has to be taken.

"My commitment to the national team and to basketball is until the end of China. After that, I will sit down to see what I want to do."

Scola added: "What happens in China will make me decide my next steps.

"Among them, the result, how it went, how I felt, whether I had a good or bad time, and so on."

Key player

Despite his age, Scola is still performing at top form and continues to be a key player for his team.

He top-scored with 28 points in the Pan-American Games gold medal final to lead Argentina past Puerto Rico.

Through the first group stage at the FIBA World Cup in China, Scola averaged 17 points per game, a team-high total. He also led Argentina with 9.0 rebounds per game.

In their first second-round game, he also became the player with the most rebounds in World Cup/World Championships history.

Argentina named a star-studded roster for the competition, relying heavily on European-based players, on which Scola was the oldest player by 10 years.

He remains the only member of the team who was part of the Olympic champion team from 2004, which played together as the Golden Generation from 2001 to 2012, and stunned Team USA in the semi-finals at Athens 2004.

That team was profiled in the Olympic Channel Five Rings Films documentary of the same name.

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Number of medals

2 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

4 Olympic Games