Five young players who excelled at 2023 FIBA Women's AmeriCup
LEON (Mexico) – One thing that was clear after the 2023 FIBA Women's AmeriCup is that there are many reasons to be excited about the future. A lot of young talent showed out during the tournament and many of those players had impactful roles for their respective national teams.
To put things in perspective, Brazilian center Kamilla Soares, her team's youngest member at just 22-years-old, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Countries like United States and Canada had rosters full of U22 players that were exceptional, but other teams also had several top prospects.
It wasn't easy to whittle down the list, but here are the 5 best young players –without counting the MVP– that excelled on the hardwood at Domo de la Feria in Leon, Mexico:
Lauren Betts – United States
At just 19-years-old and standing at 2.01m, she was truly dominant in the low post. Betts averaged 11.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks for a 20.1 efficiency rating (the third highest of the competition). The American center notched 5 points-rebounds double-doubles in her 7 games, including four in a row.
Cassandre Prosper – Canada
Two years ago, we saw her for the first time at the FIBA U16 Women's Americas Championship and her talent was undeniable. The following year she excelled at the 2022 FIBA U17 Women's World Cup and now she's shining for the senior team. In 19.8 minutes per game, Prosper averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals. Her big explosion came in the semifinals against the United States, where she notched 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and a pair of steals and assists.
Cesarina Capellán – Dominican Republic
Cesarina wasn't just the best young player of the Dominican team, but their top performer overall. The 20-year-old forward was the brightest spot for a squad that couldn’t get past the Group Stage. Capellán showed her competitive fire and despite the presence of veterans like Yohanna Morton and Sugeiry Monsac, she became their offensive engine. Capellan averaged 11.3 points, 4.8 boards, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals.
Nahomis Vargas – Cuba
The 19-year-old, 1.85m-tall center is, alongside Isabela Jourdain (19), the centerpiece of Cuba's rebuild process. At this event, Vargas took a step forward and excelled on the boards (9.3 rebounds per game) while also averaging 6.8 points. She had a pair of double-doubles and 3 consecutive games of at least 10 rebounds.
Katia Gallegos – Mexico
The NCAA's University of Tulsa's player made her senior national team debut and earned the trust of head coach Lindsey Harding as the backup point guard. She responded by averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 assists in 11.8 minutes per game. In the quarterfinals against Brazil, Gallegos went off for 12 points, including 3 three-pointers. It was precisely her outside shot (5/11 for 45.5 percent) that impressed the most.