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HomeBasketBallFIBA2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup: How to watch, Team USA storylines...

2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup: How to watch, Team USA storylines and schedule – On Her Turf | NBC Sports

Team USA takes aim at a fourth consecutive FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup title when the tournament kicks off Wednesday in Sydney, Australia. This is the 19th edition of FIBA’s flagship women’s event, which began in 1953 and was won by the U.S., the nation’s first of 10 World Cup gold medals to date.
The 2022 tournament features 12 nations, including world No. 3 and host Australia, 2021 Olympic silver medalist Japan and 2021 bronze medalist France. Competition begins with round-robin play between two groups. The top four teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, where they’ll compete in a single-elimination format.
On the line: The winner punches its ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, while valuable FIBA world ranking points are also up for grabs.
The 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will stream in the U.S. on ESPN+, with six games also airing on linear television.
Team USA features five players hot off the WNBA Finals, including the champion Las Vegas Aces’ dynamic trio of 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson, 2022 WNBA Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, and All-Star MVP Kelsey Plum. The Connecticut Sun will be represented by triple-double history-maker Alyssa Thomas and 2022 WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Brionna Jones. On Tuesday, U.S. head coach Cheryl Reeve said it is unlikely all 12 players will be available for the team’s first game.
*Ages are as of Sept. 20, 2022
Fresh faces highlight Team USA’s roster for Sydney, where exactly half of the U.S. players will make their debut for USA Basketball in a major international competition: Brionna Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, Kahleah Copper and Shakira Austin.
“We’re in a little bit of a transition,” said Breanna Stewart, the 2022 AP WNBA Player of the Year who’s won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles as a member of Team USA. “But it really gives an opportunity for young players to come in and show what they’ve got and help take USA Basketball to the next level — and understand that everybody wants to beat us. Nobody wants us to win gold. And still, our goal every time that we are playing is to win the entire thing.”
The 2022 World Cup marks the first time since 2000 that the U.S. is without stalwarts Sue Bird (retired) and Diana Taurasi (injury), and it’s also missing veterans Tina Charles (opted out), Brittney Griner (detained in Russia since Feb. 17) and Sylvia Fowles (retired). Those five players have combined for a whopping 19 Olympic gold medals. Only five members of USA’s Tokyo 2021 gold-medal winning team are on the World Cup roster — Stewart, Ariel Atkins, Chelsea Gray, Jewell Loyd and A’ja Wilson — while Kelsey Plum (3×3 Olympic gold in 2021), Loyd, Stewart and Wilson are the only ones to have competed in the previous World Cup in 2018.
Additionally, the World Cup marks the first time at the helm for Team USA head coach Cheryl Reeve, who served as an assistant for the national team at the 2016 and 2021 Olympics and took over from Dawn Staley in December.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney features 12 national teams, with 38 games to be played over 10 days from Sept. 22-Oct. 1. The teams start with seven days of group play, with every team playing each team in their group once. Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a draw, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage.
Ahead of the knockout stage, a draw will be used to determine the pairings and bracket placement for the eight teams in the quarterfinals: The two best-ranked teams of each group (Group A and Group B) will be drawn against the two teams ranked third and fourth of the other group.
The tournament continues with two semifinal games on Friday, Sept. 30, with the winner of each semi advancing to the gold-medal game on Saturday, Oct. 1. The losers of each semifinal will play for bronze, also on Oct. 1.
Group A: 
Group B: 
Notably missing in Sydney: No. 2-ranked Spain, which failed to qualify; Nigeria, whose federation withdrew the team over governance issues; and Russia and Belarus, which were banned from participating due to their invasion and ongoing war in Ukraine.

NEW YORK – Nneka Ogwumike will serve a third term as president of the WNBA Players Association after being re-elected.
The Los Angeles Sparks star has served as WNBPA President since 2016, first winning re-election in 2019. She was instrumental in negotiating for the ground-breaking 2020 collective bargaining agreement that saw major pay increases with the average salary reaching $130,000 and guarantees of full salaries of players on maternity leave. The contract, which runs through 2027, also provided enhanced family benefits, travel standards and other health and wellness improvements.
“I’m honored to serve another term as WNBPA President, and to represent the phenomenal members of this historical Union,” said Ogwumike. “I am excited to continue the legacy of the WNBPA.”
Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum was elected to serve as First Vice President of the union. It’s her first term on the WNBPA Executive Committee.
“I am excited to serve as WNBPA First Vice President and to ensure that the voices of my peers are heard, and that as a league, we continue to be at the forefront of fighting for social justice,” said Plum.
Elizabeth Williams and Natalie Achonwa were also both reelected as the union’s Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
Satou Sabally was chosen as one of the three vice presidents. She’s joined by Breanna Stewart and Brianna Turner, who are serving on the Executive Committee for the first time.
“It can be easy to make assumptions about the league and how it is run,” said Turner. “Instead, I want to be a pivotal part in the decision-making process, and to have a seat at the table to be a part of the business off of the court, and what more we can do to grow our league.”
WASHINGTON – WNBA star Brittney Griner didn’t want any alone time as soon as she boarded a U.S. government plane that would bring her home.
“I have been in prison for 10 months now, listening to Russian. I want to talk,” Griner said, according to Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who helped secure the basketball star’s release and bring her back to the U.S. last week.
She then asked Carstens, referring to others on the plane: “But, first of all, who are these guys?”
“And she moved right past me and went to every member on that crew, looked them in the eyes, shook their hands and asked about them, got their names, making a personal connection with them,” Carstens recalled in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It was really amazing.”
Ultimately, Griner spent about 12 hours of an 18-hour flight talking with others on the plane, Carstens said. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and Phoenix Mercury pro basketball star spoke about her time in the Russian penal colony and her months in captivity, Carstens recalled, although he declined to go into specific details.
“I was left with the impression this is an intelligent, passionate, compassionate, humble, interesting person, a patriotic person,” Carstens said. “But above all, authentic. I hate the fact that I had to meet her in this manner, but I actually felt blessed having had a chance to get to know her.”
Although Griner is undergoing a full medical and mental evaluation, Carstens said she appeared “full of energy, looked fantastic.”
Griner, who also played pro basketball in Russia, was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February after Russian authorities said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil. The U.S. State Department declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained” – a charge that Russia has sharply rejected.
President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the U.S. had secured Griner’s release. In exchange, the administration offered Russia the release of notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, who had been serving a 25-year sentence on charges that he conspired to sell tens of millions of dollars in weapons that U.S officials said were to be used against Americans.
But the U.S. was unable to secure the freedom of Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia for nearly four years. Administration officials have stressed repeatedly that they are still working to release Whelan, whom Russian officials have jailed on espionage charges that both his family and the U.S. government say are baseless.
“They hold Mr. Whelan differently because of these espionage charges,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “So we’re working through that now. We are now more informed, clearly having gone through this process over the last few months. We’re more informed. We have a better sense of the context here, where the Russia’s expectations are and we’re just going to keep working on it.”
Carstens, the U.S. government’s top hostage negotiator, said “there’s always cards” to play in securing an offer for Whelan and said he spoke with the jailed American on Friday.
“Here’s what I told him. I said, `Paul, you have the commitment of this president. The president’s focused. The secretary of state’s focused. I’m certainly focused, and we’re going to bring you home,”‘ Carstens said. “And I reminded him, I said, `Paul, when you were in the Marines, and I was in the Army, they always reminded you, keep the faith.’ And I said, `Keep the faith. We’re coming to get you.”‘

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