17 Players to watch at the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022: Volume 1
DEBRECEN (Hungary) - There will be some outstanding talent on show at the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Debrecen and we've picked out 17 leading ballers to watch.
Spread out across two volumes (and based on all players being available and making the final roster for the competition), this first installment sees plenty of aspiring athletes who already know what it takes to shine at FIBA events.
Juju Watkins - USA - MVP contender
The MVP of the FIBA U16 Americas Women's Championship 2021, she will provide the main thrust in USA trying to take more gold this year. The 28-point display she posted in the title game in Mexico last year was such a demonstration of her star quality. She is touted as the leading prospect of her generation in the States and already drawing massive interest from elite level ballers - both male and female, who all love her dynamic game and scoring ability. An MVP contender in Debrecen for sure.
Isla Juffermans - Australia - Double double machine
Massive props to 🇦🇺 Australia's Isla Juffermans, who set a new #FIBAU16Asia scoring record after dropping 37 points (13/18 FGs, 11/14 FTs) and 15 rebounds vs. Korea in the semifinals!— FIBA Women's Asia Cup (@fibasiacupwomen) June 30, 2022
Can she come up with another huge game in the gold medal match vs. Japan?
| @BasketballAus pic.twitter.com/9JHunbp1H1
The Sapphires can sparkle in Debrecen with Juffermans doing damage in the paint and she will arrive having just taken Australia to the FIBA 16 Women's Asia Championship title in Amman. She was the leading scorer in Jordan with a super 19.7 points per game and also made it a tournament double-double with 12.2 boards per outing - a number that was also the best in the competition. If she can maintain that form, could Australia be podium worthy?
Dominique Malonga - France - More than a dunker
Remember her name. Dominique Malonga 🇫🇷 (1.98M, 2005) is UNIQUE. 💯— Tom Thuillier (@tom_thuillier) August 9, 2021
🗣 Tony Parker : "She is the female version of Victor Wembanyama, the biggest prospect since Sandrine Gruda" pic.twitter.com/rjtMkpir4O
A future senior star of the game in Europe and maybe globally, she is turning heads with her height and dunking ability. The center helped France win their FIBA U16 Women's European Challenger last summer, averaging 19.8 points, 9.8 rebounds per game and subsequently gained court time with LDLC ASVEL Feminin in EuroCup Women last season. With length, strength and handles, she is highly dangerous and also stood out at the recent Basketball Without Borders Europe camp.
Jana Elalfy - Egypt - A do-it-all-baller
The leading scorer at the FIBA U16 Women's African Championship last year, Elalfy poured in more than 18 points per game for Egypt to propel them to the Final as they secured a silver medal and qualification to another FIBA U17 tournament. She was also a big power on the glass too, managing to cement a classy competition double-double with more than 10 rebounds per outing. A do-it-all baller, her father is a coach which explains a lot in terms of her maturity and smarts. Egypt need her to come up big again!
Inye Yang - Korea - The pickpocket
🇰🇷 Korea's Yang Inye has been getting buckets, dropping dimes, and picking pockets!— FIBA Women's Asia Cup (@fibasiacupwomen) June 27, 2022
In the ongoing #FIBAU16Asia, Yang is:
- 3rd in points (16.7 ppg)
- 1st in FG% (67.9%)
- 7th in assists (4.3)
- 1st in steals (5.0) pic.twitter.com/sTz9aKj8rE
The fantastic scoring and creative ability of the young Korean ace shone through in a big way recently at the FIBA U16 Women's Asia Championship. Racking up 13.2 points and 4.0 assists per game, she propelled her country to a third place finish in Amman. Capable of going off in any given game, she went 10 of 11 against India and it is that kind of performance that her team needs in Hungary.
Awa Fam Thiam - Spain - The intimidator
Good things have come quickly for Awa Fam Thiam, not least the fact that she debuted and scored at just 15-years-old for 2021 EuroCup Women winners, Valencia BC. Her strength and physical presence is intimidating for her opponents and you can expect her to be one of the main contributors for Spain. If they want to realize their ambitions of getting a medal as they have done plenty of times before, she will be central to delivering. A force for good at both ends and with good hands, she could be an All-Star Five contender.
Ajsa Sivka - Slovenia - Tony Parker's choice
Iz Slovenskih Konjic prihajajo odlične novice! 🤩 Slovenska reprezentantka do 16 let, Ajša Sivka, bo svojo kariero nadaljevala v Franciji, na košarkarski akademiji enega najbolj znanih igralcev iz lige NBA, @tonyparker 🔥💪 pic.twitter.com/htiFhi4Fhp— Košarkarska zveza SIovenije (@kzs_si) August 26, 2021
You know someone is a talented young baller these days when a former NBA superstar and French legend like Tony Parker comes knocking for your basketball services. He snapped up the Slovenian ace to develop her at his LDLC ASVEL Feminin club in Lyon and that is not a surprise as Sivka has stood out whenever she has been in a Slovenian vest. The forward was amazing at the FIBA U16 Women's European Challengers last year as Slovenia went unbeaten. They will need the forward in top gear on their global debut.
Annika Soltau - Germany - She has wings
With great length and plenty of skills to go with her wingspan that allows her to block shots at one end of the floor and score at the other, Soltau is an exciting prospect. She will anchor this German team in the paint, but she is also comfortable handling the ball and putting it on the floor, having already honed her skills at the prestigious Basketball Without Borders camp. She had a double-double of 17.4 points and 11.4 rebounds last year in the FIBA U16 Women's European Challengers.
Loriette Maciel - Mexico - The leader
Putting on a show for the home fans last year at the FIBA U16 Americas Women's Championship, she propelled Mexico onto the podium and claimed rave reviews for her performances. Her exceptional 23 points in the bronze medal game was memorable in every way. As underdogs in this competition, they need her to not only score, but to grab those steals and boards, once again underlining just what an all-action influential leader she is.