Taking part in the FIBA 2023 World Cup qualifying games this weekend, Arizona’s Pelle Larsson showed his potential on the national stage.
It has been a big summer for Arizona’s Pelle Larsson. After playing a key reserve role for the Wildcats this past season, the former Utah transfer finally got to live out his dream, playing for his home country of Sweden in the FIBA 2023 World Cup qualifying games.
For those that didn’t know, this has been a year in the making. Prior to teaming up with Arizona last season, Pelle was supposed to play with Sweden for the summer, but a foot injury derailed that, giving him a bit of a delayed start with the Wildcats last season.
Well, as the event came this season, naturally, Pelle teamed up with the Swedish national team, taking part in two qualifying games over in Europe.
Coming off the bench, Arizona’s Pelle Larsson saw a decent amount of action, and showed plenty of potential just ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Taking on former Wildcat Lauri Markkanen and the Finnish national team on Thursday, Larsson would log just 11:54 of play, taking just one shot (a three-pointer) as he finished his day with 3 points and one steal.
Markkanen would end his day with a game-high 22 points on 8-15 shooting with 11 rebounds, four steals, and four assists. Finland would go on to win 85-69.
Returning to action on Sunday, Pelle and Co. would have a tough task at hand as they took on NBA superstar Luka Dončić and the Slovenian National team.
Once again, Larsson came off the bench, this time logging 24:01 of action. Tasked with guarding Dončić, Luka would get his finishing the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Meanwhile, Larsson would hold his own, finishing his day with a respectable seven points and four rebounds.
Larsson would have an opportunity near the end of the game to be the hero as he attempted a game-winning three. Unfortunately, he would miss, and Slovenia would escape with the 84-81 win.
He may not have been the super star out there; however, the past two games were invaluable to Pelle and his development.
In part, Arizona’s success hinges on how Pelle progresses this off-season, and going up against some of the worlds best talent isn’t a bad way to compete.
Larsson can be seen in this video wearing No. 9 for Team Sweden (in yellow).