The 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will take place from September 22 – October 1, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. But you can get ready to watch some of the best women’s basketball in the world in Washington DC this February! Team USA will be part of the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament games from February 10-12. The tournament will be held at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, also home to the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
As a quick reminder, your reigning champs – the USA – won eight of the last 11 World Cups (including the last three, and ten titles overall). In 2018, the most recent World Cup, the US finished with a perfect 6-0 record and the gold medal behind tournament MVP Breanna Stewart. Also Team USA has a 70-3 record in Olympic play, no Olympic losses since 1992, and won their seventh straight Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 – try saying that three time fast!
So today, we’ll share how the USA’s future in the 2022 Cup is looking, which teams will play in the qualifying games, more about the coaching staff and players, and how to watch. We’ll also reveal the gorgeous Cup trophy.
The upcoming qualifying tournament features 16 incredible teams. The teams were determined by their results from the four FIBA Women’s Continental Cups 2021 played last summer:
Over the February weekend, those 16 teams will compete to determine the 12 final teams for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. However because Australia is hosting the event, they’ve already qualified for the Cup. Team USA has also already qualified because they’re the Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions. Both teams still have to participate in all continental and world qualifiers, so they’ll be playing in the qualifying tournament anyway.
In order to determine the 10 remaining teams who will join them at the Cup, there will be four tournament brackets of four teams each in the qualifier tournament. The top three teams from each bracket (and top two teams in brackets with Australia and USA) will proceed onto the Cup.
During the draw for the qualifying tournament on November 23, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis provided the opening remarks. Meanwhile Serbia’s TISSOT MVP of the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021, Sonja Vasic, performed the Draw. Here are the results.
Group A will play in Belgrade, Serbia:
Group B will also play in Belgrade:
Group C will play in Osaka, Japan:
Group D will play in Washington, DC:
As one of four world-wide sites selected by FIBA to host a FIBA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, the Washington, DC site will feature Puerto Rico playing Belgium on Feb. 10; the Feb. 11 contest features the USA against Belgium; and the women’s games conclude with a USA versus Puerto Rico clash on Feb. 12.
Russia originally was supposed to play in DC. However, FIBA announced that due to the travel and health protocols in the USA, they won’t be able to join. Instead, the Dominican Republic will host Russia against Belgium on Feb. 13 and Puerto Rico versus Russia on Feb. 14. The USA versus Russia game will not be contested.
“USA Basketball is excited to return to DC to showcase both our men’s and women’s FIBA World Cup Qualifying teams,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO.
“This is a unique opportunity for basketball fans in the Washington metropolitan area to show their support for our USA men’s and women’s national teams in high-level FIBA competitions. We are delighted to be partnering once again with Events DC to showcase these international competitions in a first-class venue in our nation’s capital.” he continued.
“As a city rich in both professional and amateur sports, D.C. is a hotbed for basketball at all levels and we are so honored to host USA Basketball’s FIBA World Cup Qualifying games at the Entertainment and Sports Arena,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “The Arena has become a new sports and entertainment district for visitors to come and experience some of D.C.’s most exciting sports moments on a global stage.”
2021-24 USA Women’s National Team head coach Cheryl Reeve (also head coach and general manager of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx) will be at the helm. It will be the first event she will coach since being named head coach in December.
“I am here to be a part of one of the greatest dynasties ever,” Cheryl Reeve said at her introductory press conference. “To represent your country at the highest level of sport, I am humbled and grateful. The sacrifice that someone makes to win a gold medal is a great honor. I want to go in and be myself and get a collection of players who will be selfless for the good of the team.”
She’s well equipped to help the team succeed. “Cheryl Reeve is a coach who has been successful on multiple levels of the game,” said retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, USA Basketball chairperson. “With five international gold medals as an assistant on the coaching staff of our USA National Teams and a combined six WNBA championships as a head coach and an assistant, USA Basketball believes there is no one more qualified than Cheryl to follow Dawn Staley and continue the legacy of success that defines this program.”
Previously South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley led the USA women at the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup. There, the USA went 6-0 to claim the gold medal, defeating opponents by an average of 35.2 points per game. Their result earned the U.S. women their spot in the 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournaments. She and Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) were named as co-recipients of the 2021 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.
“USA Basketball is proud to celebrate Gregg Popovich and Dawn Staley for their incredible leadership and success while guiding USA teams this past summer,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “Both coaches dedicated a lot of their time to USA Basketball and the national teams, and that commitment resulted in two Olympic gold medals for the USA this past summer, as well as Dawn leading the USA to gold at the FIBA AmeriCup for Women.”
For the upcoming training camp and tournament, WNBA head coaches Vickie Johnson (Dallas Wings), Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun), Mike Thibault (Washington Mystics) and James Wade (Chicago Sky) will support Cheryl. The February 2022 USA National Team coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
All four will serve as court coaches during the Feb. 5-9 training camp. Johnson and Thibault will assist on the bench during the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 10-12, while Miller and Wade will continue as court coaches and team scouts during the tournament.
“This is a really strong collection of WNBA coaches,” said Cheryl. “They possess great minds for the game, strong connections to the players, USA Basketball experience, and I am looking forward to working with them.”
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team Committee is chaired by Connecticut Sun president and 2018-21 USA National Team assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti and includes Olympic and World Cup gold medalists Seimone Augustus and DeLisha Milton-Jones, 2017-21 USA National Team head coach Dawn Staley, and WNBA head of league operations Bethany Donaphin.
Players selected for the women’s team are WNBA athletes, and were selected by the women’s selection committee. Seventeen athletes, including nine who have claimed a combined 19 Olympic and FIBA World Cup gold medals, are expected to participate in the 2022 USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp from Feb. 5-7 in Washington, D.C. Following the training camp, 12 athletes will remain to compete in the FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament from Feb. 10-12 against Belgium and Puerto Rico at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Athletes expected to attend the training camp include: Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Stephanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); 2021 USA Basketball 3×3 Athlete of the Year Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings); Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces); Dearica Hamby (Las Vegas Aces) – her first experience with USA Basketball; Natasha Howard (New York Liberty); Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty); Brionna Jones (Connecticut Sun); Betnijah Laney (New York Liberty); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride (Minnesota Lynx); Angel McCoughtry (Las Vegas Aces); Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever); Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces); three-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); and Alyssa Thomas (Connecticut Sun).
Elena, Sabrina, Betnijah, and Breanna will attend the USA’s training camp but will not participate in the tournament.
“I’m excited for [the] camp,” said head coach Cheryl Reeve. “We will have an incredible mix of veterans and USA National Team newcomers, which will be a great starting point for our preparations for the FIBA World Cup. The training camp and games against two very different opponents will give the staff an opportunity to put in the building blocks for the next few years as we look to not only win the World Cup gold medal but qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.”
Ready to tune in for all the action? Tickets for all games will go on sale later. But in the meantime, you can subscribe to FIBA’s YouTube channel for free teaser videos. And here’s the upcoming TV schedule for the DC games (likely to be available on ESPN, but that’s to be determined):
Tickets for all games range from $10 (plus Ticketmaster fees) for general admission to $100 (plus Ticketmaster fees) for courtside seating. Fans are able to save 25% with an early bird discount through Feb. 1 by purchasing tickets online for any of the five games by using promo code “FIBA22” at checkout.
Need something else to check out in the meantime? Here’s the trophy for this year’s World Cup:
The new trophy is also incorporated into a new logo created by 14-year-old Aboriginal basketballer and artist Amarlie ‘Marlii’ Briscoe. Amarlie made a stunning piece of Indigenous artwork titled ‘My Story’ by hand, and found a way to cleverly represent everything she loves most in her life: art, basketball, culture, and country. All of these symbols are represented within the traditional basketball-shaped logo.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will take place from Thursday, September 22, 2022, to Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia. This will be the 19th edition of FIBA’s most distinguished women’s event!
Now you’re ready to tune in for a great weekend of high stakes women’s hoops. Up next, check out Athletes Unlimited Basketball for even more awesome women’s basketball this winter.