Nikola Jokic to play for Serbia in 2019 World Cup

Fresh off being named to the All-NBA first team, Nikola Jokic said Friday he plans to play for his native Serbia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

“I am very pleased with everything I did in the NBA this season,” Jokic told Serbian State News Agency (via ESPN). “I had a great year in which I performed at the All-Star Game and was selected (to the All-NBA first team). For me, the cherry on top of this whole season would be a medal with the national team. I am fully prepared to do my best to achieve this goal.”

The 24-year-old Nuggets center, who averaged 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists in his fourth season, has already won two silver medals with the Serbian team, including in 2016 when Serbia lost to the U.S. in the Olympics.

Jokic averaged 9.1 points and six rebounds in eight Olympic games that year, but erupted for 25 points in the first of two meetings with the U.S. He is obviously a far better player now.

The FIBA World Cup begins Aug. 31 in China. Team USA, which won the past two World Cups in 2010 and 2014, is seeking to become the first team to win three straight.