WATCH: Serbian player at FIBA World Cup 2023 loses kidney after being hit with nasty elbow

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Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A player for the FIBA World Cup’s Serbian team suffered a career-altering injury during their victory last week.

With the NBA in the midst of their offseason, much of the focus of the basketball world is on the ongoing FIBA World Cup tournament. It is bringing together the best national basketball teams from around the world and includes a deep and youth-driven United States Squad.

After a couple of weeks of qualifying, the actual tourney began recently, and the level of play — including the physicality — has understandably intensified recently. It has gotten so hard-hitting that it cost a competitor a major organ over the weekend.

On Monday morning, ESPN reported that Serbian talent Boriša Simanić was the victim of an errant elbow from South Sudan player Nuni Omot in the final minutes of Serbia’s dominant 115-85 victory last Wednesday. The hit to his midsection was so damaging it forced the 25-year-old into emergency surgery for a damaged kidney. The video of the moment can be seen below.


FIBA World Cup player forced to have kidney removal surgery days after game

Despite the surgery, it seems Simanić had complications and there was an apparent problem finding the proper blood type for him in the Phillippines where the event is taking place. While several of his teammates reportedly offered to give their own blood, a second surgery was unfortunately needed to remove his kidney, according to Serbian national team doctor Dragan Radovanović.

“My apologies, I didn’t mean to make any type of a dirty play. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I pray for you, you’ll be in my prayers,” Omot said following the unfortunate incident. “I’m not a dirty player, I’ve never been a dirty player. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely apologize to everyone who’s watching and to the player especially.”

Boriša Simanić has previously played on the Utah Jazz summer league team before the 2022 NBA season. Beyond that, he has also competed professionally in Serbian and Spain. He was a backup on the Serbian team during this Summer’s FIBA World Cup 2023.

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