15 - 23
July 2023
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FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup Power Rankings; Volume 1

MADRID (Spain) - The countdown to the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Madrid has almost expired and that means it's time to roll out the highly anticipated first volume of the Power Rankings.

The list has been compiled taking into account roster announcements, performances at last year's respective FIBA U18 Continental Championships, plus the all-important draw for the tournament and competition bracket.

So, without further delay - here's the countdown from 16 to the coveted number 1 spot:

16. Chinese Taipei TPE 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 28th

After finishing fourth at the FIBA U18 Women's Asian Championship last year and in 14th at the U19 Women's World Cup in 2021, it would be a surprise if Chinese Taipei finished much higher. Although they are a very compact team that play good basketball and on their day, can cause an upset - ask China at U18 last year. They maybe have too much reliance on Yu Wen Hsiao and she is under pressure. Certainly avoiding last place would be a boost after the senior team's recent nightmare relegation to FIBA Women's Asia Cup Division B. 

15. Egypt EGY 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 20th

This is actually a little harsh on Egypt considering they impressed at the last edition and made 12th place. Especially with UConn forward Jana Elalfy as their marquee player. If she is firing on all cylinders, then the African side can dream bigger than this 15th spot. She is a walking double-double and there might a nice one-two punch with Jana Sallman that should form the foundation for their challenge. However group opponents Canada, China and Czech Republic are solid teams and they must play well to take an early win.

14. Brazil BRA 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 30th

Brazil are a team that has really struggled offensively in terms of their displays and 4th place last year at the FIBA U18 Women's Americas Championship. They only managed 53 points per game which is worrying, although in All-Star Five member Ana Paula de Oliveira they have a quality player and leader. They might also be able to take inspiration from the senior team being crowned FIBA Women's AmeriCup 2023 champions in their quest to improve their last place finish two years ago at the U19 Worlds in Debrecen.

13. Argentina ARG

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 26th

It's tough to assess Argentina as they have the absolute nightmare Group phase fixtures against Spain, Australia and France, so maybe once they then have to face a tough Round of 16 game and are what looks a likely 0-4, they will get a 'second wind' in the Classification Games against opponents they have a much better chance of beating. They were 15th last time and are not likely to be much different even if they did get U18 Women's Americas bronze last year. Lara Tribouley and Alma Bourgarel are the likely leaders of their challenge. 

12. Mali MLI 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 19th

Everyone will remember their historical run to the Semi-Finals and the edge of the podium at the last edition, but things might be a little different this time around without the phenomenal Sika Kone on board. Still, the FIBA U18 Women's African Championship 2022 winners should be really competitive, with their usual physicality and athleticism likely to be key. Maimouna Haidara was MVP last year and played in Sydney at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup last year, but also watch out for Kamite Elisabeth Dabou.

11. Italy ITA 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 10th

With playmaker Matilde Villa in situ and ready to contribute and lead, Italy could have possibly done better than this position as she is a great young baller who played at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket in Tel Aviv. But she is absent so, much will depend on the supporting cast of a team that were only 5th on home soil at the U18 level last year. Carlotta Zanardi and Vittoria Blasigh might be the players who come up with the cameos again, but this team on paper at least does not look as strong as those of the past at FIBA U19 and U17. 

10. Germany GER 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 13th

Germany will be aiming for a Quarter-Finals spot. With their senior team doing well now and the announcement that they will host the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2026, some of these players might have an eye on that if they continue to develop. Frieda Buhner and Annika Soltau are two excellent young ballers that will help pace their campaign and as a team they look like they might have a similar level to the one that was 13th in Bangkok four years ago. Or maybe, they will achieve a slight uplift in their end position.

9. Japan JPN 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 12th

This is maybe slightly harsh on Japan who could certainly make the Quarter-Finals, although they were third last year at U18 in Asia. Having said this, it was mainly due to losing a tight one against China in the Semi-Finals. So maybe it will be Japan that makes the top eight in Madrid. If they manage this, much could come from Haru Owaki, Chinami Yokoyama, and Yuzuyu Yasogawa.

8. China CHN 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 11th

Back after missing 2021, it doesn't look like China has the same depth to match their top-five finish of 2019. They took that second place at the FIBA U18 Asian Women's Championship last year but it was one of the most roller-coaster campaigns in memory. They lost to Chinese Taipei, lost heavily to Japan, but then gained revenge to make the Final where they lost heavily to Australia. Wenxia Li and Quingyang Li were the only two players to really shine consistently so it will be interesting if they have many new faces.

7. Czech Republic CZE 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 14th

Perhaps Czech Republic can be inspired by the senior team's incredible run at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket in Tel Aviv and Ljubljana and reach the Quarter-Finals - not least because they are likely to be lining up with two of the young ballers who shone at the event in Emma Cechova and Dominika Paurova. Those two can drive their team forwards in the Spanish capital. Especially with Paurova having starred two years ago in Debrecen and has been a force in taking a top 6 finish. 

6. Lithuania LTU 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 7th

Last year was one of the most memorable in the history of Lithuania's youth program as the team lifted the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship off the back of the MVP display of the incredible Juste Jocyte. She was on fire, and Lithuania can do well here in Madrid, although the title winners did win several close games last year, it could have gone a different way. It's not just about their exceptional leader - they also need big shows from the likes of Rusne Augustinaite and Ugne Sirtautaite too.

5. France FRA 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 2nd

France will have their eyes on those teams above and there is no doubt that while a 5th place finish would not be any kind of failure, they have the potential to go higher and medal. Last year at the U18 Europeans, they were dominant en route to 3rd place with the exception of one complete off night in the Semi-Finals against Spain. Leila Lacan also got bronze at last month's FIBA Women's EuroBasket and will lead, while Anaelle Dutat and namesakes Amina and Fatoumata Traore could make a splash. 

4. Canada CAN 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 5th


It's such a massive boost to have both Cassandre Prosper and Syla Swords coming straight from the FIBA Women's AmeriCup where they stood on the last podium step. That experience will make two of their biggest hitters even stronger in Madrid and combined with Toby Fournier, they should be able to make a deep run to the last four and maybe even the podium. Although it is noticeable that their main ballers are maybe younger as some played and excelled at the U17 Worlds last year. But overall, fans can be excited by this side.

3. Australia AUS 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 3rd

Another podium finish could be on the cards although much will depend on the potential crossover with USA. The Gems made the Final two years ago and that is not out of reach for the FIBA U18 Women's Asian Championship gold medalists. They have such a strong presence on the wings and frontcourt with Isobel Borlase, Nyadiew Puoch, and Isla Juffermans, although ultimately it could boil down not to those three leaders, but whether they can produce enough in the backcourt to complement their production inside.

2. Spain ESP 

FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 4th

Heart over head - right? Maybe. There is a bit of a 'home vote' going on with this one, but everybody loves a host nation to have a positive campaign - surely. There is enough talent for them to make that deep run and set up a truly bouncing last weekend in Madrid. They have class guards with Elena Buenavida and Iyana Martin, while Awa Fam is looking unstoppable at times because of her power. The big fly in the ointment is a 'Group of Death' to start and whoever finishes second in this pool meets USA in the Quarters. Hmmm. 


FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike Girls: 1st

The team to beat at every global tournament at any level and #FIBAU19 is no different. Maybe they'll not be as dominant as some teams that went before, but they could yet click and blow everyone away. Their main thrust is likely to come from the likes of Kira 'Kiki' Rice who will pull the strings, Jadyn Donovan who provides the athleticism and Cotie McMahon who might bring the biggest scoring touch. They have the depth, quality and track record to land become the first team to reach double-digits with an incredible 10th title.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and are in no way a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author.

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2023 Power Rankings are put together by our panel, led by FIBA's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen. He eats, sleeps and breathes female hoops and is incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women's game at all levels. Paul uses an extensive network of players, coaches, clubs and Federations to shape his work and opinions.