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20 players to watch at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup; Volume 4 – FIBA

SYDNEY (Australia) – In the last part of our series we complete our countdown of ballers to watch at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 as we check out the top five places.
You can also read the first volume on the 20-16 spots, the second volume covering the 11-15 berths and the third volume looking at the 6-10 places. 
Few players in the women’s game have had the same kind of astronomical rise to prominence as Li in the past 12-18 months. She has become China’s leading star, producing some outstanding displays last year at Tokyo 2020 and also at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. Then, earlier in 2022, she was mostly unstoppable at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade. When she catches the ball around the basket, it’s money for China.

A teenager at the last edition in Tenerife when she showed signs of what was to follow, the center has spent the last four years making the starting spot her own. She also now has WNBA court time to her name and those additional experiences on and off the court are likely to now make her an even bigger FIBA star when she steps out in Sydney. Plus, if China want to live up to the billing and take a podium spot, then she will have to find top gear like usual.

An inspiration and unrivalled centerpiece for the Cats, Meesseman has been the constant in her nation’s incredible journey during these past years when they have clocked up many historical firsts. Whether the first FIBA Women’s EuroBasket medal, first Olympic appearance or first FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup outing four years ago, she has excelled – managing to make the All-Star Five many times including the relevant Qualifying Tournaments too. Typically, she was a towering presence in getting her team to Sydney.

The forward will be eager to help Belgium make up for that bitter-sweet debut in 2018 when they won so many fans with their brilliant brand of attractive basketball, but just fell short after losing in the Third Place Game. It would be a big shock if Meesseman was not as influential as usual. A class act, she will be ready to carry the Cats through any difficult moments in the competition.

Wilson was part of the USA team that won gold in Tenerife and if you hit the fast forward button four years, she is now a bonafide team leader – perhaps even more so now USA has lost some veteran stars. The forward was exceptional at Tokyo 2020, putting her team onto the front foot from the very first tip-off in the Japanese capital.

Since last year, Wilson has continued to grow into one of the best players on the planet. And, when she steps off the plane in Australia, she will do so having been crowned the 2022 WNBA MVP which underlines just how well she is playing. Tough to stop in the paint and also a kingpin defensively, she is an MVP contender for sure in Sydney. 

A name on everyone’s watch list for this edition of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, it won’t just be fans of Bosnia and Herzegovina that will enjoy seeing ‘JJ’ play. A baller for the neutrals too who just love to watch her doing it all for her adopted nation, Jones will stuff the highlights reel as usual. She has already transformed the national team in terms of their historic and best ever 5th placed finish at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 in Valencia.

That result set Bosnia and Herzegovina on the path towards Sydney and Jones was unstoppable at the Qualifying Tournament in Oskaa when she was named the MVP. If she is firing on all cylinders, good luck to whoever is tasked with guarding her when the action gets underway. A walking double-double, get ready for some huge numbers!

The 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 MVP and having also grabbed the individual accolade at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Stewart is still firmly the biggest name in female hoops . There’s nothing she can’t do and if USA are to defend their crown as many anticipate, she will be central to that happening. Back flying high after being sidelined for some time with an injury, she’s ready.

Some of her performances in the WNBA have been as phenomenal as usual and she was only just edged out of yet another MVP award by her USA teammate A’ja Wilson. Those two might end up being engaged in another MVP race in Australia, since it would be a huge shock if ‘Stewie’ did not end up with another gold medal and title.  

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