17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
7 Facundo Campazzo (ARG)
to read

The FIBA AmeriCup will be a showcase of talents in the 2020s

In the four previous decades, the different editions of the FIBA AmeriCup left their mark on basketball, not only at a continental level but internationally as well.

Featuring historic national teams like USA's Dream Team in the 1992 edition, or the Argentine Golden Generation in the first decade of the new millennium, at the FIBA AmeriCup we were able to see figures that had an impact on basketball in the region. Some of these were Oscar Schmidt, Manu Ginóbili, José "Piculín" Ortiz, Carl Herrera, Gustavo Ayón, and many more.

This new decade will feature three AmeriCup editions: 2021, 2025, and 2029. The Road for the next edition will start in February, with 16 national teams fighting for 12 available tickets for the 2021 summer event that will crown the continental champions.

And, just like we witnessed in the first forty years of the FIBA AmeriCup's existence, the new decade that's just beginning will bring us great moments and new international basketball icons, since several national teams are undergoing renovations.

For example, the Argentine national team is most probably one of the teams to follow closely in upcoming tournaments. Even though Ginóbili's, Andrés Nocioni's, and Luis Scola's Golden Generation met their objectives and already checked off all their boxes, Argentina continues to have a respectable roster of talents. The Argentines are led by 28-year-old point guard Facundo Campazzo, who's in the most productive moment of his career, and we'll surely witness him do his magic in the upcoming FIBA AmeriCup editions. We can also add names such as Gabriel Deck, Luca Vildoza, Nicolás Brussino, and Patricio Garino, who are coming in from the team that was second in the last edition of the FIBA World Cup. Likewise, we’ll probably see the gleam of new stars like Leandro Bolmaro, who played in youth-level World Cups and is already taking his first steps in professional basketball with FC Barcelona.

Leandro Bolmaro

Another team to look is Brazil. In recent years, the Brazilian national team has seen the first steps taken by players like Yago dos Santos, Bruno Caboclo, and Didi Louzada. If predictions come true, they will lead the program that saw the best years of shooters like Anderson Varejão, Leandro Barbosa, Nene, Marcelo Huertas, and others.

Didi Louzada

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico could recover lost time from the recent FIBA AmeriCup editions, as they were out of the semifinalists' positions in 2015 and 2017, something that their fan base is not used to experiencing. Many on the island are setting hopes on the new generation of players that was successful at the youth level. First, as the team that was fifth in the U17 World Cup in 2014, and later, the team that won the bronze in the 2018 edition of the U17 world event. Names like Arnaldo Toro, Iván Gandía, André Curbelo, George Conditt, Jermaine Miranda, and Julian Strawther could raise Puerto Rican basketball and bring the country back to the first spots in the AmeriCup, just like in the 1980s and 1990s.

André Curbelo

As for Uruguay, they have a gem with guard Santiago Vescovi. He graduated from the NBA Academy in Mexico (as did Puerto Rican player Miranda), and in upcoming months he'll debut in American collegiate basketball with the University of Tennessee. Vescovi already debuted with the national senior team in the Pan American Games, and we could very well see him in a future FIBA AmeriCup.

The same should happen with the Dominican Republic, whose program features a promising Jean Montero. At the young age of 17, he's already a professional in Spain, and in the youth national teams, he's showed glimpses of what he's able to do in the court. We’ll surely see him do the same in some AmeriCup this decade.

Jean Montero

And what about the teams from the North? Canada has a bench with a lot of well-known names, although they still must put them to play and get convincing results. It's been more than 20 years since the last time that Canada played in an AmeriCup final (1999). If all ingredients come together well, Canada could look forward to one of the titles of the decade.

The United States must always be closely watched. With the development of the G-League, the Americans have increased the level of talent in the continent. The USA is the current continental champion and had a 10-2 record during the World Cup Qualifiers. Several players that were in the window would eventually get to the NBA. They have talent for years to come.

Other national teams that saw recent success, like Mexico and Venezuela, could be in the battle in upcoming years.

Being among the best in the Americas should be a requirement for these teams if they want to achieve greater international feats.

Marcos Mejías Ortiz