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Israel vs. Czech Republic preview: Deni Avdija faces off against the home team

The game will likely determine who moves onto the knockout round.

Poland v Czech Republic: Group D - FIBA EuroBasket 2022
The big finish in Group D features a match between two Wizards teammates last season! But Tomas Satoransky has been injured.
Photo by Pedja Milosavljevic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Israel men’s national basketball team will play the Czech Republic on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET in Group D of EuroBasket 2022.

In their last game, Israel lost to Serbia, 89-78 with Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija scoring 14 points. The outcome was not unexpected considering that Serbia was the favorite in Group D from the beginning. While Israel is currently 2-2 in group play, their loss to Poland put a dent in guaranteeing their hopes for a Top 16 berth.

That said, the Israelis can punch their ticket to the knockout round, but it will be against the home team, who are led by none other than former Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky. With Sato at full strength, the Czechs would have probably been the second place team in this group. However, he sprained his ankle in their first game and missed two straight before returning. As a result, the Czechs are just 1-3 in group play, getting their only win against the Netherlands last Monday.

Since Satoransky isn’t 100 percent, the Czechs will focus more of their play around former Wizards forward Jan Vesely, who has since become a EuroLeague superstar, mostly for Fenerbahce. Now he’s playing for FC Barcelona just like Sato. In group play, Vesely is averaging 14.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

If Israel wins this game, they will make the Round of 16. If not, they are likely done.

About the Czech Republic

  • Capital: Prague
  • Population: 10.5 million
  • National Anthem: Kde domov můj (Where My Home Is)
  • Most well-known companies from the Czech Republic: The biggest Czech brand I can think of is Škoda, an auto manufacturer well known in Europe, but not sold in America. I can’t think of other brands besides Pilsner Urquell, the Czech beer. But like other countries, help me flesh this out!
  • Attractions I would like to see in the Czech Republic: I have not been in the Czech Republic before, so I would start off with a visit of Prague. The Prague Castle (Prazský Hrad) is one place I want to visit first since I like visiting palaces throughout Europe. And also the Charles Bridge (Karlův most).
  • Official Language: Czech
  • What do Czechs call their country? Česko (Chesko)
  • The first Czech I can think of whose name isn’t Tomas Satoransky or Jan Vesely: I may be cheating here because both naturalized as Americans. But tennis legend Martina Navratilova and the late U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright come to mind. And from a DC sports perspective, NHL legend Jaromir Jagr played for the Washington Capitals from 2001-04. HE IS STILL PLAYING HOCKEY TOO AT THE AGE OF 50!
  • What is a popular song in the Czech Republic by Czech artists? According to The Top 50 most played songs in the Czech Republic on Spotify, “Hannah Montana” by Calin is at No. 1 as of Sept. 7.