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10 women to watch in 3x3 action in 2021
MIES (Switzerland) - The top women in 3x3 are back this year on the road to the Olympics, more national team competitions and the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series. On International Women's Day, we made a list of the 10 women who we can't wait to see back on the court in 2021
Laetitia Guapo (France): No. 1 ranked player in the world
To give you an impression of how much of a winner Guapo is, she has not finished lower than 3rd place in a tournament since June of 2018. The number one player in the world rose to the top of the rankings after helping France win the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2019. At the Women’s series that year, Guapo was a juggernaut for France, co-leading them in points per game (5.2), blocked shots (21), and 2-pointers made. Guapo can ball and 2021 is another chance to shine.
Migna Touré (France): No. 2 ranked player in the world
Is she the most unguardable player in 3x3? In 2019, she was 3rd in scoring (198 points), 4th in S-VAL (104.9), and second in drives (65). Her inside-outside game will have you flat-footed, getting a better look at the back of her jersey. The number two player in the world is a central part of Team France, winning 6 events in 2019, including the Women’s Series. In 2021, look for the Frenchwoman and her team to once again remain a top contender for any tournament they enter.
Rae Lin D'Alie (Italy): No. 5 ranked player in the world
Rae Rae is like a fine Italian sports car. She has sick handles and will drive past you in 0 to 100 in milliseconds. She led the 2019 Women’s Series in drives (83), 18 more than the next player, and recorded a staggering 6.3 rebounds per game, 4th best in the field (minimum 10 games). The number one player in Italy brought the country to the top of the 3x3 game in 2018, winning the World Cup and taking MVP honors. 2021 will bring the return of her passionate style of play. As she once said, “3x3 is in my DNA”.
Mai Yamamoto (Japan): No. 29 ranked player in the world
Is Mai Yamamoto Japan’s next great star? The 21-year-old is already making a name for herself on the Women’s Series, earning a first-place finish at the Xiong An stop. But that was only a preview of what she would do on the world stage. Yamamoto won the U23 World Cup, taking home MVP honors, and was the shoot-out winner. That’s the way to put your stamp on an event. With the Olympics coming in 2021, will she already get a chance to help her country qualify to Tokyo 2020?
Maddie Garrick (Australia): No. 53 ranked player in the world
The basketball player burst onto the 3x3 scene in 2018 and has been one of the best in the format ever since. Coming off of injury, Garrick returns in 2021 with new goals and the same skills that make her one of the toughest players to stop. In limited 3x3 action, Garrick won gold at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup in 2019, and two first-place finishes on the Women’s Series. The Olympics are the next target. She will bring her deadly crossover and sweet stroke from long range at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifier in Austria in the last week of May.
Sabrina Ionescu (USA) – Number one pick in 2020 WNBA Draft
Ionescu is one of the most talented women’s basketball players in the world, and regardless of format, she is a joy to watch with the ball in her hands. The former Oregon Ducks star was the number one overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty after being the first player in NCAA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds. Before she went pro, the U.S. star was part of the 2019 Pan American Games winning 3x3 squad. She already played a 3x3 World Cup (in 2018) and played at the Women's Series. We’re hoping to see Ionescu return to the 3x3 court soon.
Sonia Ursu (Romania): Europe Cup 2016 silver medalist
Sonia Ursu is the perfect encapsulation of 3x3. Her father is from South Korea, her mother is Romanian, and she speaks fluent basketball. Representing Romania for international competition, she has already won a silver medal at the Europe Cup 2016, providing clutch buckets for her country. In 2021, she enters the year with her eyes on the Olympics, as Romania has already qualified for the competition. She brings a “savage mentality” to the game, and we can’t wait to see her battle it out for gold in Tokyo.
Bec Cole (Australia): No. 36 ranked player in the world
If you were making a perfect playmaking guard in a lab, Bec Cole would be the perfect model. Her infectious smile and personality make everything easier for her teammates... not to mention her dazzling passing abilities. She has been a true winner since coming over to 3x3, including a perfect 2019 on the Women’s Series, winning at both the Tokyo and Chengdu stops. Australia has also been great on the international scene, winning the 2019 Asia Cup, with Cole taking top scorer and MVP honors over the course of the event. 2021 could be another banner year for Cole with Olympic qualifiers on the docket.
Satou Sabally (Germany) – 2nd overall pick in 2020 WNBA Draft
In her only 3x3 career action, Satou Sabally just missed out on a medal at the 2019 European Games, but it sparked something in her. "I think I’m that type of 3x3 player… I play free and love to go one on one.” The 2020 WNBA Draft second overall pick is excited at the chance to represent Germany at the 2021 Olympic Games, an opportunity that has been made possible by her new-found love for the 3x3 format.
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Olga and Evgeniia Frolkina (Russia): No. 11 and 22 ranked players in the world
Olga and Evgeniia Frolinka are set to make 2021 their biggest year yet. The Russian twins have been superb in their 3x3 careers so far, winning the 2019 World Urban Games, and coming close to earning a title on the Women’s Series. At the U23 World Cup 2019, it was a coming-out party, finishing second and putting the 3x3 world on notice. With a spot already secured for the Olympic Games, this dynamic duo is ready to bring Russia to the top of the 3x3 world on the biggest stage.