Webster, Diaz to Compete in FIBA World Cup
Lincoln -- A pair of former Huskers are playing the FIBA Basketball World Cup which begins over the weekend. The event takes place in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, and Tai Webster (New Zealand) and Jorge Brian Diaz (Puerto Rico) are competing for their respective countries in the competition.
Pool play begins on Saturday and runs until Sept. 5, when the top two teams in each pool will advance, while the bottom two teams in each group will be in their own classification round. All of the pool play games are available on ESPN+
It is the second straight time that Webster and Diaz have played in the FIBA World Cup, as both played in the 2014 event in Spain. The event was moved to the year prior to the Olympics following the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Webster, who played at Nebraska from 2014 to 2017, is currently playing with Galatasaray in Turkey for a second consecutive season. Last year, he averaged 10.9 points, 3.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game in 33 games in the country's top division. He also played in the 2018-19 Eurocup, averaging 12.5 points and 4.2 assist per game in 10 contests. At Nebraska, Webster was a three-year starter for the Huskers, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017, as he averaged 17.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He was NU's starting point guard during the 2013-14 season when Nebraska reached the NCAA Tournament.
Diaz, who played for three seasons at Nebraska (2010-12), has played professionally in his native Puerto Rico for the past seven years, helping Quebradillas to a pair of championships. At Nebraska, he enjoyed his best year in 2010-11, averaging 10.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game to help the Huskers to 19 wins and an NIT appearance. His final season was cut short by injuries, as he played just 16 game and averaged 8.6 points per game.
Results from the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will qualify seven nations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top two finishing teams in the World Cup from the Americas and Europe zones will earn qualifying places in the 2020 Olympics, as will the top finisher from Africa, Asia and Oceania. Additionally, Olympic host Japan automatically qualified, and the final four nations will qualify through four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held in 2020 in advance of the Olympics.