13–21 Jul
    2024

    Top 20 Prospects stepping out at the U17 WWC: 10-1

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    Here's part two of our watch-list for just some of the leading stars ready to shine in Mexico

    LEON / IRAPUATO (Mexico) - The FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup will soon tip-off for its 2024 edition with many exciting young guns ready to do their thing.

    We take a look at more leading ballers likely to be on show as we pick out 20 leading prospects to look our for across the competition (maximum 2 per team). With spots 20-11 already covered in part one, it's now time for the all-important top 10 rundown.

    10. Lena Bilic - Croatia

    FORWARD

    Birth Date: May 2, 2007 (17 years old) Height: 1.88m (6ft 2in)

    A class act, Bilic was largely unstoppable last year at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship in what was her second appearance at the event. She showed out in a big way and finished the competition as the second best in scoring and efficiency - only missing out on the All-Star Five because of the similar brilliance of teammate, Olivia Vukosa.

    Bilic is a do-it-all forward who's line of more than 18 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds tells you all you need to know. Long and with range, the winger is capable of delivering dagger shots from downtown or passing the rock with style. She should shine in Mexico for sure!

    9. Otoha Goto - Japan

    GUARD, FORWARD

    Birth Date: February 13, 2007 (17 years old) Height: 1.78m (5ft 10in)

    A baller for the big occasion, the best work of Goto at the FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2023 came during the crunch games. Excellent against main rivals China, she then erupted in the Final against Australia, saving her best until last with 18 points, 4 boards and 4 assists.

    She led her team in efficiency, was the second highest scorer with almost 14 points per game and really came to the party regularly. That was shown in her minutes played and having gained the trust of the coaches, she should impact again. She's also great from the perimeter.

    8. Assitan Diarisso - Mali

    GUARD

    Birth Date: November 17, 2008 (15 years old) Height: 1.64m (5ft 5in)

    The MVP of the FIBA U16 Women's African Championship 2023, Diarisso was just 14-years-old when she landed the accolade in taking Mali all the way to the top of the podium. With an average of 23 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, Diarisso showcased great maturity.

    You can expect her to continue performing way beyond her years and to keep proving to be a formidable force on the court. A great prospect for the senior Mali team, it should not be long before she continues the conveyor belt of impressive young talents making the step up and following in the footsteps of Sika Kone and Maimouna Haidara.

    7. Nicole Ogun - Finland

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    FORWARD

    Birth Date: May 25, 2007 (17 years old) Height: 1.83m (6ft 0in)

    Always expected to be a leading light for Finland last year in Izmir, so it proved. She helped her country to a historic fourth spot and as the centerpiece of that side, her All-Star Five berth provided clear recognition of her efforts, talent and application.

    She only just fell short of a tournament double-double with almost 10 points and 10 boards per game. A nice prospect who will only get better and surely delight on her global debut too, expect a fast-track to senior team action and Ogun to be with the 'Susiladies' soon.

    6. Sienna Lehmann - Australia

    GUARD

    Birth Date: June 11, 2007 (17 years old) Height: 1.72m (5ft 8in)

    Lehmann capped an eye-catching campaign in the FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2023 by being crowned MVP of the competition. The winger tallied 11.8 points per game on spectacular 63-percent field goal shooting, also showing her creative side with 4.8 assists and almost three steals per outing which delivered a performance efficiency rating of 17.7.

    A big reason for the MVP award was her tally of 20 points in the title game in Amman against Japan. Now the left-handed baller will look to be a leader for her team again as she puts her foot onto a global showcase for the first time.

    5. McKenna Woliczko - USA

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    Birth Date: May 12, 2008 (16 years old) Height: 1.88m (6ft 2in)

    An inspiring player, Wiliczko sets the tone for USA with her mentality and work and others follow her often outstanding example. That leadership was evident in her play at the FIBA U16 Women's Americas Championship 2023 when she rolled her way to the top step of the podium and gained recognition with an All-Star Five slot.

    The forward is asked and expected to do a lot of tasks and her overall efficiency and do-it-all capability was reflected in her 11.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and a tournament-leading 62.3 percent from the field in Yucatan. She will also be a key for USA in this competition as a defensive powerhouse in the 4 position and the post.

    4. Olivia Vukosa - Croatia

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    CENTER

    Birth Date: September 7, 2008 (15 years old) Height: 1.94m (6ft 4in)

    The tournament's leading scorer and rebounder at U16 level, she left the competition having posted a staggering and off the chart average performance efficiency valuation of 28.9. That was simply incredible and her tournament double-double of more than 22 points and 17 boards per game was worthy of MVP. Instead she had to be satisfied with the All-Star Five.

    She also did it while only aged 14-years-old too. Vukuosa demonstrated that she could be another massive find for Croatian basketball, which has a lot of upcoming talents right now. There is a lot to like about her game as it is not just about her physical dominance and it will be interesting to see how she performs at her first ever global tournament.

    3. Ruby Perkins - Australia

    GUARD

    Birth Date: November 21, 2007 (16 years old) Height: 1.72m (5ft 8in)

    Even if she didn't get MVP in the Jordanian capital last year, there is a strong argument that Perkins is the leading prospect on this Sapphires side. She did gain All-Star Five status in Amman and that was highly deserved for her impressive displays that rarely relented. She led her country in both scoring and assists with almost 15 points and 6 assists per game.

    She is so strong on both hands and sides, that she is tough to guard and was doing a great job 1v1 at U16 - as well as making good decisions - as evidenced by her assists haul. This is now a chance for her to get further into the middle of the basketball radar with similar showings at U17 level.

    2. Jerzy Robinson - USA

    GUARD

    Birth Date: September 11, 2008 (15 years old) Height: 1.85m (6ft 1in)

    At just 14 years-old, Robinson became the youngest ever recipient of the MVP award at the FIBA U16 Women's Americas Championship. She was sensational en-route to winning gold, bringing it home with a stellar 17.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

    Most memorably of all, she stayed on fire right until the end, netting 18 of USA's 41 first-half points in the Final and finishing with a sparkling 24 points. The obvious star and leader of the team once again when the action gets underway in Mexico, Robinson is always likely to pile on the points. Even if she is not a shooting force, her activity and hard-nosed play in and and around the basket will see her continuing to rack up numbers.

    1. Ainhoa Risacher - France

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    GUARD, FORWARD

    Birth Date: July 13, 2007 (16 years old) Height: 1.87m (6ft 2in)

    Always destined to be a major player for France in their gold rush last year, the versatile Risacher lived up to the billing and demonstrated what a smart and impressive all-around baller she is, with a winners medal and being named MVP. Her numbers were not exactly eye-popping, but that is what so great about Risacher. The tall, athletic and versatile winger gives so much to the team concept without needing to over reach her role and force things.

    Those smarts might also come from being in a basketball family, since her brother is also talented too. Those ingredients suggest a bright future and she has already got EuroLeague Women court time on her resume with LDLC ASVEL Feminin which re-enforces the point.

    Here is the complete list of prospects:

    Top 20 Prospects stepping out at the U17 WWC: 20-11

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