Six ballers ready to make a splash at #FIBAU16Europe in Matosinhos
MATOSINHOS (Portugal) - The FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2022 will see a number of players taking some early career steps on the international stage and confirm their status as rising stars.
There will be plenty of talent to follow in Portugal at the event and subject to selection and availability, here's just some of the names to look out for when the action tips off on Friday, August 19.
Iyana Martin Carrion - Spain
Unlike most of the players in the list, Carrion has already jumped onto the radar in a big way, having not only helped Spain reach the Final of the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup recently in Debrecen, but also making the All-Star Five in the process. The guard was a real handful and if she repeats this form, could be the baller to take Spain to silverware.
Ines Pitarch Granel - France
📌 Félicitations à notre équipe de France féminine qui remporte la médaille d'or 🏅 lors du Festival Olympique de la Jeunesse Européenne en Slovaquie 🇸🇰— Benito (@minotben18) July 31, 2022
Stella Colas, Inès Pitarch- Granel et leurs partenaires les futures @MarieevePaget 🤷♀️ @WeBasketTV @mkmoulay
📸 Pôle France pic.twitter.com/8moEOTvv1I
The star of the recent 2022 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival in Slovakia, Pitarch Granel (#26 in photo) was superb in firing France to a gold medal and dropped 20 points in the Final against Spain. Her athleticism, size and offensive power in particular shone through on a deep French roster and it is likely that once again she will be a threat. She has some excellent potential and could be the next baller on the conveyor belt of amazing young French talent coming through the youth ranks.
Madara Smite - Latvia
Smite played last year in the FIBA U16 Women's European Challengers and impressed with some nice contributions including an eye-popping 14 rebounds in the contest against Bulgaria. Heading into this tournament in Matosinhos, she has regularly been the main contributor in the preparation games and will no doubt be high on her opponents' scouting list.
Kyra Bruyndoncx - Belgium
Another player heading to Matosinhos who has already shown her quality on the global stage at the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup, Bruyndoncx was terrific in Debrecen last month. She top scored for her team with almost 13 points per game and was second in efficiency. Yet even before pulling on her Belgian vest she has made people sit up and take notice after stepping out in EuroCup Women during the 2020-21 season with Basket Hema SKW when aged just 14 years old.
Tanja Valancic - Slovenia
It was a historic and memorable first ever campaign at the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 for Slovenia who won four games on their debut. Valancic played a cameo role with 15 minutes per game, but looks like she has the capability to breakout in a bigger way at the U16 level. Her 11 points against France and 18 points against Mali were particularly memorable.
Maria Fernandes - Portugal
Last year at the FIBA U16 Women's European Challengers when Portugal posted a successful campaign, Fernandes spent much of the time looking on and soaking everything up. With limited opportunities in terms of court time, she was not able to shine. However, in her role as captain during recent preparation games, she has posted some outstanding scoring contributions. She is likely to form a heavy one-two punch alongside Clara Silva for the host nation.