Missing the electric excitement of the WNBA playoffs? Anxiously awaiting the return of NBA action? We're so close. May I suggest the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup (FIBAWWC). You might be asking, 'What's the Women's World Cup,' and 'Why didn't I know about it?' No worries. Here's a quick look at what it is and why -- if you love basketball -- you should be paying attention.
What is the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup?
??? ???? ?? ??? ?????? ?
— FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWWC) September 27, 2022
The FIBAWWC is often referred to as the Basketball World Cup for women and it began in 1953. The Cup is an international basketball tournament for women's national teams held every four years. It was created by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and remains the largest international women's basketball competition, bringing together the best teams from around the globe. This year, the 19th edition, Sydney, Australia is hosting the competition.
USA Women's Basketball, A Little History
You may be more familiar with the legendary teams USA Men's Basketball has built, particularly the Olympic teams. But the USA Basketball Women's National Team has been dominating world basketball for decades. In fact, in the 2020 Olympics, the women's team captured its seventh consecutive gold medal, and have been nearly unstoppable since the formation of the national team back in 1995.
The historic 1995-1996 USA women's team started the legacy with a boom. The women garnered an undefeated overall record and went on to play 8-0 to win the Gold in its first Olympic games. The U.S. women have now tied the men's Olympic gold medal streak of seven-straight, which the men won between 1936-1968. Women's basketball could easily keep the streak going.
Speaking of streaks, the U.S. has a strong history at the Cup. The U.S. women's basketball squad is currently competing for their fourth consecutive gold medal and it looks as if the women will easily keep the gold excellence alive. Undefeated in group play, heading into the quarterfinals, the U.S. women have been straight up annihilating teams, beating their opponents by upwards of 76-points in the group play phase. The 2022 team now holds the FIBA World Cup record for most points scored by a team in the event.
2022 USA Team is On Fire
If you watched this past season of WNBA action, you know how talented the athletes in the league are. This particular USA squad has an unmatched shooting ability. 2022 MVP A'ja Wilson spoke to NBC Sports about the team's ability to score, "I don't think I've ever been part of a team that can score the basketball like this," Wilson said. "This is crazy, we put up 145 points. I think when you look at us, and just knowing how talented we are, we just came together and we play together very, very well."
We like that ? https://t.co/yQqj8s2G1N
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 27, 2022
The 12 women on this USA team pack legendary star power. It continues to be a thing of beauty to watch generations of historic basketball players passing the torch. The U.S. women's team has a rich legacy -- from rosters with basketball icons Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles -- to its newest stars and the game's future, who are now leading the U.S. team. This 2022 squad is further proof of just how bright the future of women's basketball truly is -- even if it was a struggle getting the team together given this season's WNBA playoff picture.
Building the roster with three members of the newly crowned and first franchise winning champions, the Las Vegas Aces, had challenges. The Vegas stars quickly went from parades, champagne and cigars to long flights and rapid game focus. Shooting threat Kelsey Plum told ESPN "she bought Wi-Fi on the 15-hour flight to Australia so she could study the team playbook."
A'ja Wilson, who brought joy to fans with her hysterical celebration mentality, spoke to ESPN about her shift in mindset in order to deliver phenomenal play, "I don't know how I'm doing it. ... I need to learn the offense ... I am exhausted."
Exhausted or not, these women have continued to deliver in Sydney. As they continue to chase another cup, you might be wondering how in the world you can catch the action happening all the way down under.
Where You Can Watch The Action
Catch the historic 2022 U.S. women's shooting on ESPN +, streaming through FIBA's site or on Courtside 1891, a digital platform that brings you live games and videos of professional worldwide basketball. They offer both free and paid subscriptions, offering full replays and live action.
ESPN and ESPN + will also be carrying the quarterfinals, semis and finals, so set your DVRs (that time difference is rough) to be sure not to miss the action. Women's basketball is still delivering high-flying excitement, so don't forget to show these phenomenal athletes your support.
— FIBA (@FIBA) September 27, 2022
Wednesday, Sept. 28: Quarterfinals
USA vs. Serbia, 10 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Thursday, Sept. 29: Quarterfinals
Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 12:20 a.m. ET
China vs. France, 3:50 a.m. ET
Belgium vs. Australia, 6:20 a.m. ET
Friday, Sept. 30
Semifinals, 2:50 a.m. ET, TBD
Semifinals, 5:20 a.m. ET, TBD
Third place game, 10:50 p.m. ET
Saturday, Oct. 1
Gold medal game, 2 a.m. ET, ESPN2
Enjoy all things sports?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.