22 September
01 October, 2022
to read

The best of the FIBA Women's Basketball WC 1994: Brazil brilliance lights it up

SYDNEY (Australia) - As time ticks down to the  FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022, we're adding to the anticipation by pushing the rewind button to the last time the event took place in Australia.

The 1994 edition of the flagship tournament took place in Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston and also in this September's destination of Sydney. And, there were plenty of talking points as the biggest women's ballers on the planet went to work.

The best team: brilliant Brazil bank a historic golden moment

Hortencia Marcari's emotion after the final buzzer

- If there's one thing that 1994 is remembered for, it's the moment that the most gifted Brazilian generation ever secured a first global title as they first saw off USA a Semi-Finals epic before beating China in the title game.

- That slice of history is the stuff of legend in the South American nation and indeed beyond, since their team was packed full of some of the greatest ballers around. In fact, they were so good. some may argue this was one of the best women's basketball teams that has ever took to a court.

- Leading the way was someone who many still say is the women's basketball GOAT in Hortencia Marcari, along with other leading lights such as Janeth Dos Santos Arcain and 'Magic' Paula Goncalves. The trio were all in the top five for points in the tournament - clearly underlining that unrivalled offensive firepower. Brazil beat China in the Final and most famously knocked off USA in a Semi-Final epic that is still rated as one of the best games in history.

Rank Team W-L
1. Brazil Brazil 6-2
2. CHN China 5-3 
3. USA USA 7-1
4. Australia Australia 4-4
5. SVK Slovakia 6-2
6. CUB Cuba 5-3
7. Canada Canada 3-5 
8. ESP Spain 3-5
9. France France 6-2
10. KORKorea 4-4
11. Italy Italy 5-3
12. Japan Japan 2-6
13. Poland Poland 5-3
14. TPEChinese Taipei 2-6 
15. NZL New Zealand 1-7
16. Kenya Kenya 0-8

The best performance:  Katrina McClain - USA


- It was arguably one of the most bitter-sweet experiences for any female baller in the history of the game as Katrina McClain of USA walked off the court having posted one of the most mezmerizing and impressive displays in history. It also came in the Semi-Finals and was central to what many say is the best game ever.

- However she also stepped off the floor on the wrong side of a 110-107 loss to Brazil, despite having posted the truly monumental 29 points and 19 rebounds, shooting 77 percent for good measure! 

The best game: one we're still talking about almost 30 years later

Hortencia Marcari

- Yes, that aforementioned 110-107 Semi-Final success for Brazil against USA was a game for the ages. One that anyone lucky enough to witness live will never ever forget. It's considered as one of the greatest of all time - men or women!

- Despite that heroic effort of McClain, Brazil had too much scoring depth and got it done in crunch time in an amazing contest with Hortencia and Paula Goncalves combining for 61 points.

FIBA Hall of Famers adorn the tournament

Zheng Haixia from China

- It's an incredible statistic that of the 21 female ballers inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, 8 of them competed at the 1994 edition in Australia. This underlined what a classic tournament it was.

- The list includes Hortencia Marcari, Maria Paula Goncalves da Silva, Janeth Dos Santos Arcain (BRA), Michelle Timms (AUS), Teresa Edwards (USA), Margo Dydek (POL), Isabelle Fijalkowski (FRA) and Zheng Haixia (CHN) .

The hidden star: Cathy Melain - France

The youngest member of the French team by far at 20-years-old. Melain was to be the bridge between the transition to a new generation of players. While not a hidden star for very long since hopes were always high that this bright young talent could be a centerpiece of things to come, she had a modest competition. She was sixth in minutes played but did really well with more than 8.0 points and 2.0 assists per game. And, perhaps nobody expected her after this debut to push on and become one of the great French players and the most successful of all-time to wear the famous jersey.

Stats leaders


Player Points Per Game
Brazil Hortencia Marcari 27.6
CHN Haixia Zheng 26.4
Brazil Janeth Dos Santos Arcain 23.3
TPEWei-Chuan Chien 20.3
Brazil Paula Goncalves  19.8


Player Rebounds Per Game
CHN Haixia Zheng 13.1
USA Katrina McClain 11.1
Poland Margo Dydek 9.5
Kenya Nasila Onjiko 9.0
SVK Erica Dobrovicova 8.5


Player Assists Per Game
France Yannick Souvre 6.0
SVK Erica Dobrovicova 4.9
Brazil Paula Goncalves  4.4
USA Dawn Staley 3.9
CHN Dongmei Zheng 3.8