29 July, 2023
06 August
2 Matilde Villa (ITA)
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Who will make the biggest impact at #FIBAU20Europe this summer?

KLAIPEDA / VILNIUS (Lithuania) - The FIBA U20 Women's European Championship 2023 in Lithuania will witness an array of young guns stepping out and trying to deliver success for their respective nations.

Here is a selection of leading candidates expected to shine in Klaipeda and Vilnius when the tournament tips off on Saturday July 29.

You can also use the fan vote below to tell us which player you think will have the biggest impact at the event. 

Matilde Villa - Italy

Villa lands in Lithuania having played at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 in Tel Aviv. Although production wise her numbers might not have been huge, it was a near 15 minutes per game which underlines her progress. Deciding to pass on the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Madrid, preferring to focus on this competition instead, Villa will showcase the leadership skills, creativity and scoring power that saw her make the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship All-Star Five last year.

Marija Lekovic - Montenegro

Lekovic is loving her basketball right now after showing herself as one of the most improved performers at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 where she helped her nation make the Quarter-Finals and only just falling short of an OQT ticket. The guard averaged more than 10 points per game and making a return to youth level, she will be even more impactful. Not least having been crowned MVP at the FIBA U20 Women's European Championship, Division B last summer as the driving force behind Montenegro's promotion. 

Claudia Contell - Spain

Contell will make a return to the competition having been crowned MVP of the last edition in Sopron and if she can make the same level of contribution, this will be a big boost for reigning champions Spain, who will be chasing a 10th title. Having played a full season with Jairis in the Spanish league this past year, Contell should have made some strides and so will likely be a leading contributor again. She will also have her in her mind the task of getting herself into senior contention for future FIBA Women's EuroBasket Qualifiers. 

Henna Sandvik - Finland

Sandvik has more experience on her resume heading into this competition having appeared in the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 Qualifiers. She is destined to potentially be an important baller at the top level for Finland for many years to come and last year at the U20 tournament in Hungary, she averaged 13.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. An active guard or wing, she spent this last season completing her freshman year in the NCAA at Indiana so will arrive with new perspectives and ready to lead her country again.

Nastja Claessens - Belgium

Claessens was perhaps unfortunate not to have squeezed her way onto the end of the Belgian Cats bench for their glorious and historic FIBA Women's EuroBasket title success - especially having stepped out during the Qualifiers for the event. However, this will only fuel the forward's desire and hunger to continue making impressive advancements. Claessens has already shown plenty at youth level and never failed to record a double-digit scoring return. She is likely to be near the top of both the scoring and rebounding charts.

Raina Tomasicka - Latvia

Tomasicka can raise the volume in the scoring stakes at any time and is likely to be Latvia's reference point offensively. There is also added intrigue because despite being identified as one of the brightest talents in Europe from a young age, this will only be her second ever youth tournament in a national team vest. Last summer she showed what she could do with almost 18 points per game at the U18s and another similar output will be expected. Tomasicka also averaged double-digits playing last year in the Czech league with Trutnov.