The top 10 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup stars of 2030
NEWCASTLE (Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide) - It's almost a decade away, but blink and we'll be sat there watching the action unfold at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2030.
Time flies, that is for sure. But the upside is that with the talent taps flowing right now in terms of young players around the globe and with more in the pipeline still to come onto the radar, we can have some fun in picking out who could be the top performers at the FIBA flagship event in exactly 10 years time.
Paige Bueckers - USA
Now: A star for her country at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup last year and having also pocketed a 3x3 gold too, she has huge potential to make the transition to the senior team in years to come. Not least because she will continue her basketball education in the NCAA under the legendary Geno Auriemma within the prestigious UConn program.
2030: The USA retain gold yet again and one of the main reasons for that is the form of playmaker Bueckers, who is playing at her second edition of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. She made her debut in 2026 when she was mainly on the bench as a younger member of the side. She led the team brilliantly from the backcourt and was second in the competition for assists.
Tess Heal - Australia
Now: Attracting attention for her seemingly phenomenal potential, Heal is the latest in a long production line of Australia talent to have emerged in the last few years in particular. Having already starred in the Jr. NBA World Championship and in Australian youth basketball, the next step is to represent her country with distinction - which is a given for the playmaker. She already has a signature spin move, and backs that up with great fundamentals. She comes from a wider basketball family with her uncle Shane a former NBA player and cousin Shyla having lit it up at both the U17 and U19 FIBA Basketball World Cups in the past couple of years.
2030: Heal catches fire and propels the Opals to the last four of the competition and while there is a tinge of disappointment that Australia were pipped for the bronze medal, an appearance in the All-Tournament Team is sweet for the guard. She showed a great balance of leadership, creativity and clutch throughout the tournament, eclipsing some of her older teammates.
Maria Vadeeva - Russia
Now: She is still only 21 years old and yet Vadeeva has already played at a staggering three editions of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket and is a three-time EuroLeague Women champion. With WNBA court time under her belt via Los Angeles Sparks and having seen proven herself at the top level already, the Russian is en-route to becoming a legendary player ahead of time. Although she is still waiting for the Olympics or a first FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup outing.
2030: Now a veteran player and Russian the bonafide legend many had predicted her to become, she is at the heart of a Russian renaissance on the global stage, reminiscent of their domination some 20-30 years earlier. Vadeeva made the All-Tournament Team after averaging a double-double during the tournament and taking Russia to a bronze medal.
Iliana Rupert - France
Now: She has just been voted the EuroLeague Women Young Player of the Year for her excellent work at Bourges Basket, where the teenager has been averaging more than 20 minutes per game. Skilled and with a good IQ as well as having size, Rupert has already appeared for the French senior team at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket and is a lock to appear there again next summer and also at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
2030: Another All-Tournament Team member, Rupert has been the shining light in the French frontcourt for the past 6-7 years. Having helped to fill the void left by Sandrine Gruda several years ago, she remains one of the number one players in the post in the global game. The EuroLeague Women and WNBA standout carried France to the Final and a silver medal, producing some amazing plays and just missed out on a double-double.
Azzi Fudd - USA
Now: A multi-talented guard who is widely recognized as being the number one player in the 2021 College recruiting class, whichever program gets her will be delighted. She is pure talent and it was a pity that an injury caused her to miss the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Bangkok because a year earlier she showed flashes of her brilliance in winning gold at the FIBA U17 Worlds.
2030: It was the backcourt that really got it done for USA in this tournament, with Bueckers pulling the strings, it was Fudd who was the difference-maker. She brought the noise from an offensive standpoint and averaged a super 16.8 points per game, also hitting a clutch shot in the tough Semi-Final against Russia which could have went either way. It's no surprise she ended up taking the MVP award.
Nyara Sabally - Germany
Now: She is riding the emotional roller-coaster of dealing with some serious injury issues that has curtailed her Oregon NCAA career before it was able to get started. Sabally is one of the most talented players of her generation and showed that with a string of incredible MVP performances with Germany in the FIBA youth competitions. Her strength and athleticism makers her a nightmare to defend. When she is healthy again, she is going to kill it. Surely.
2030: The one big question was always about which Sabally sibling would star the most in this competition for a Germany team whose rise to prominence in the Europe region for the last 8-9 years has been largely been fulled by the duo. As it turned out, older sister Satou was typically influential, but it was Nyara who won even more plaudits with a brilliant 15 points and 9 rebounds per game as Germany finally appeared at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup for the first time since 1998.
Lauren Betts - USA
Now: She broke the hearts of many basketball-loving Brits when she chose USA, but there is no denying that she will continue to stack up medals now she has plumped for the basketball powerhouse. She already has gold from last year's FIBA Americas U16 Women's Championship where she was a nightmare for her opponents. With her size and touch, she can really grow as she refines and expands her post moves. A seriously big talent, Betts has been labelled as the number one NCAA recruit in the Class of 2022.
2030: With Bueckers and Fudd firing in the guard spots, the anchor was dropped by Betts in the paint for the champions as she did the business on both ends of the floor. Controlling the boards, mopping up put-back scores like she was eating candy out of a packet, it was a sensational tournament for her and at 26 years old, she maybe has at least one, or maybe even two more editions to come!
Anastasiia Kosu - Russia
Now: The MVP of the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship last year despite playing as a 14 year old, Kosu took Russia to gold. She also won rave reviews due to her superb athletic ability and continuing to develop her game with Dynamo Kursk, she is now tipped to become one of the youngest players in history to debut in EuroLeague Women.
2030: Now 25 years old, Kosu is one of the most exciting players in the women's game. Russia have never enjoyed such an athletic option in their proud history and with the experienced Vadeeva cleaning up inside, the dynamic game of her teammate gives them an 'X Factor' which propels them to third place. Kosu impresses with her efficiency and ability to contribute across so many different statistical categories.
Laeticia Amihere - Canada
Now: Having set a high standard while wearing a national team vest in youth competitions for her country, Amihere has now had a taste of the action at senior team level, appearing at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament back in February. Playing under USA head coach Dawn Staley at the South Carolina Gamecocks, She first burst onto the radar when she became the first Canadian female athlete to dunk in a competitive game when she was just 15 years old.
2030: Canada's long and proud record of continuing to qualify for and compete at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup continued as they made the Quarter-Finals behind the leading contribution of Amihere. She lit up the highlights reel in a big way as everybody had hoped, with some spectacular games. With two dunks competing for the 'Play of the Tournament' she also weighed in with 12.9 points and 11 rebounds per game to highlight her continued importance to Canada.
Ariadna Termis Casas - Spain
Now: Had the Coronavirus not struck this summer, then surely we would have seen the talented Termis Casas announce herself on the stage . She is an exciting prospect because she is not the typical Spanish player outside of the super fundamentals that she has. She is tall, perhaps she will eventually be exceptionally tall in terms of Spanish options and has a nice shooting range that can open up opposing defences.
2030: For many years Spain had to fight for the medals without access to the kind of height and physical advantages provided by Termis Casas. The center is a focal point for Spain at this tournament and while they were left choked on a buzzer-beating loss in the Quarter-Finals, they still took a top five finish mainly due to 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game from their star.
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