17 - 27
June 2021
Ivana Dojkic (CRO)
to read

Which players are going to post a breakout Women's EuroBasket?

STRASBOURG / VALENCIA (France / Spain) - There are so many exciting stars to watch at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket and there are several players who could light up this stage in a big way for the first time.

Looking at a number of debutantes and also those who are looking to improve on previous outings, here are just a selection of players who could be about to post seriously impressive breakout tournaments.

We will also be featuring some of the younger players who could shine in a separate feature.

Ivana Dojkic - Croatia


Height: 1.80m
Date of Birth: December 24, 1997 (23 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 25.5 PPG; 4.8 RPG; 5.5 APG; 3.3 SPG; 25.8 EFF

As the joint best scorer of the Qualifiers, her team needs its marquee player to maintain her rich vein of form when the action gets underway. Having missed the last two editions, Croatia will be eager to make the most of her return. Dojkic can do it all and after a quiet first season in EuroLeague Women at ZVVZ USK Praha, she seems to enjoy the increased court time and giant green light that a national team jersey provides. She is going to have to deal with a lot of defensive attention but has the offensive armory to come out on top and make an impact.

Gabby Williams - France


Height: 1.80m
Date of Birth: September 9, 1996 (24 years old)
Qualifiers stats: Did not play

The moment the EuroLeague Women Defensive Player of the Season agreed to fill the naturalized spot for France, it surely propelled them to the status of clear favorites.  Everyone is aware from her work at club level on both sides of the Atlantic that Williams is a class act and now she looks destined to be a difference-maker at her first Women's EuroBasket. It might not necessarily be about big numbers in an already stacked French roster, but it would be a surprise if her performances did not stand out at each end of the court.

Julia Reisingerova - Czech Republic


Height: 1.94m
Date of Birth: April 17, 1998 (22 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 12.7 PPG; 4.7 RPG; 2.5 SPG

Czech Republic have been on a slide at this event in the past couple of editions with early exits and despite a hugely impressive run in the Qualifiers, some key absences have cast a cloud on their prospects. However, if Reisingerova plays to her full potential at the tournament, it could provide a platform for her nation to get out of the initial group. She has the size and talent to be a force and drop anchor in the paint at both ends of the court, having shown her quality in EuroLeague Women with Spar Girona this past season.

Zala Friskovec - Slovenia


Height: 1.81m
Date of Birth: October 10, 1999 (21 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 8.5 PPG; 5.5 RPG; 3.8 APG

As a teenager when she made her first appearance at the previous edition, Friskovec struggled to make an impact, but that is all set to change. During the last two years, the player has made significant strides for club and country. She was excellent in EuroCup Women last season, shooting KSC Szekszard to the Final Four and Hungarian Finals. Meanwhile, she shifted up the gears in the Qualifiers for Slovenia and is now an essential member of the core rotation. She can put up double-figure scoring returns at this level and has given her team another precious and reliable offensive source.

Francesca Pan - Italy


Height: 1.80m
Date of Birth: May 27, 1997 (23 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 11.5 PPG

The Italian shooting ace has spoken about her dreams coming true when she takes to the floor in this competition for the first time. She could also make Italian dreams more generally come true if she can deliver a one-two-punch alongside Cecilia Zandalasini and help her nation take a top six spot. The Georgia Tech graduate showed her promise at this level in the Qualifiers and has had a terrific club campaign with Reyer Venezia, making the title game in her first EuroCup Women season and then scooping an Italian Championship.

Marica Gajic - Bosnia and Herzegovina


Height: 1.85m
Date of Birth: April 27, 1995 (26 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 17.3 PPG; 15.3 RPG; 3.8 SPG; 25.0 EFF

When Gajic missed the last Qualifiers bubbles, it was barely a surprise that the nerves were jangling for Bosnia and Herzegovina, because they knew how much she would be missed. In the end, they still booked their ticket and that now means (subject to her being healthy and fit to play) a debut for the brilliant forward who is a walking double-double. One of the best European players yet to appear at the Women's EuroBasket, she could lead her team in both points and rebounds. 

Klara Lundquist - Sweden


Height: 1.73m
Date of Birth: Aug 28, 1999 (21 years old)
Qualifiers stats:  7.5 PPG; 2.0 APG

The guard comes into this tournament on fire after being named the Swedish League Player of the Year. She showed her prolific scoring talent in a big way with Alvik Basket and while she debuted modestly at the last Women's EuroBasket as a young player, it feels like she is in a great position to play a seriously prominent role this time. With Sweden missing their two best frontcourt stars, they may need to cut loose a little and the scoring load will be placed on the backcourt. That is where Lundquist could be encouraged to find the hot-hand and if Sweden play 'small ball' then a three guard combo with Elin and Frida Eldebrink looks like it could be exciting. 

Maria Fasoula - Greece


Height: 1.92m
Date of Birth: September 2, 1997 (23 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 12.5 PPG; 7.5 RPG

While all the attention of late has understandably been on how Fasoula's intervention in the last qualifying game catapulted Greece to this tournament, it's now time to concentrate on whether this is the time for the center to establish herself as a leading European star. She played back in 2017 during her nation's thrilling and unexpected run to the Semi-Finals, but was a mere teenager. This is a big few months for Fasoula as she has just signed with EuroLeague Women side Perfumerias Avenida and so the microscope will be on her even more. She has the capacity and potential to post a big tournament and maybe help her country cause another upset.

Yvonne Anderson - Serbia


Height: 1.75m
Date of Birth: March 8, 1990 (31 years old)
Qualifiers stats: 17.0 PPG; 7.0 APG; 3.3 SPG

While we all know about the skills and abilities of the experienced Anderson from her extensive career in European club competitions down the years, but this could be the time for her to break out and show she can do it at a major international tournament. Yes, she had a positive impact during the Qualifiers, but this will be very different since Serbia are intent on another tilt at the podium. Therefore she has to do it at both ends of the court. To her credit, the guard put the heart-breaking last-second EuroCup Women Final loss behind her to help Reyer Venezia land the Italian Championship after 75 years of trying. So she has the mental strength as well as the skills to show out on her debut in this event.