The rise and rise of women's hoops around the world
MIES (Switzerland) - One of the most striking features of the past three FIBA decades has been the huge increase in the visibility and popularity of women's basketball globally.
While many trailblazers and legends graced the sport before them, there's been a steady evolution of female ballers becoming household names since the 1990s in particular.
The dynamic and entertaining basketball played by an incredible Brazil team during that era was a catalyst. The legendary trio of Hortencia, 'Magic' Paula Goncalves and Janeth Arcain helped open many people's eyes to the possibilities of women's basketball and how it was viewed in general.
Some epic battles with the USA also helped, with the States also producing a conveyor belt of ballers with profiles that would be truly global – including the likes of Lisa Leslie and then Diana Taurasi. Similarly, a young talent in Lauren Jackson would emerge from Australia and would be another player with worldwide appeal.
This evolution of female hoop stars has gathered even more pace during the past decade, with many competitions enjoying incredible growth and interest across all platforms. Athletes have benefited from an explosion in social media which has helped to showcase the world's best talents.
From the likes of USA duo Breanna Stewart and A'Ja Wilson, to Emma Meesseman of Belgium, Xu Han of China and Ezi Magbegor of Australia, the current leading lights are continuing this deepening dynasty of women's hoops and also inspiring the next generation.
As we approach 100 years of FIBA, the growth and development of the female game continues to be a key strategic priority, both on and off the court.