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EuroLeague Women Preview: Loaded UMMC Ekaterinburg faces Nadezhda to lead off Week 2

If you’re missing professional women’s basketball already, you might want to consider watching EuroLeague Women. There’s no shortage of WNBA players in this international contest, and it’s easy to follow, too.

EuroLeague Women Final Four 2019
Since 2014, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner has spent her winter in Russia, starring on UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Photo by Andrea Kareth /SEPA.Media /Getty Images

The WNBA may be done for the year, but FIBA’s EuroLeague Women competition is in full swing. The competition features 16 of the top women’s basketball teams across Europe, most of which have one or more current WNBA players on their rosters.

As such, EuroLeague Women is a popular league for WNBA fans to follow during the winter. The level of competition and number of recognizable players make it easy to get into, and most games are streamed via YouTube, so hunting for coverage isn’t much of a problem.

If you haven’t seen the first round of EuroLeague games yet, head over to FIBA’s YouTube channel (full game replays are available!) and get yourself caught up. You might also want to check out the official EuroLeague system of competition to get acquainted with what all these teams are playing for.

Got it? Good! Now let’s run through this week’s games, paying particular attention to which WNBA players will be playing and how you’ll be able to watch them:

Wednesday, October 23

UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. Nadezhda

When: 10 a.m. ET

Where: DIVS Sports Hall, Ekaterinburg

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Ekaterinburg has won three of the last four EuroLeague Women titles and are the early favorites this season, featuring tons of WNBA talent in Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Emma Meesseman, Maria Vadeeva and Jamierra Faulkner. Erica Wheeler stars for Nadezhda; she’s flanked by Yvonne Turner and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe. Through the first week of action, it’s actually been Nadezhda — not Ekaterinburg — leading Group A in point differential, making this an intriguing matchup.

Gelecek Koleji Cukurova vs. Reyer Venezia

When: 11 a.m. ET

Where: Servet Tazegül Spor Salonu, Mersin

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Cukurova is an astoundingly young team — five of their players are still in their teens — and is led by Nia Coffey, who recorded 13 points and 14 rebounds in last week’s opener. Reyer will be looking to take advantage of their opponent’s youth and improve to 2-0 in EuroLeague play.

Dynamo Kursk vs. Familia Schio

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Sport Concert Complex, Kursk

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Kursk is yet another Russian powerhouse, featuring Epiphanny Prince, DeWanna Bonner and Marta Xargay. They’ll be going up against Diamond DeShields and Sandrine Gruda. Both teams are currently 1-0 in Group B, with Kursk leading the group in point differential at +15.

Arka Gdynia vs. BLMA

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Gdynia Arena, Gdynia

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Both Arka Gdynia and BLMA qualified for EuroLeague play back in early October, and both seek their first win of the competition after dropping their respective Week 1 contests. Rebecca Allen and Marie Gülich lead Arka Gdynia, while BLMA has plenty of potential with Gabby Williams, Stephanie Mavunga and Sami Whitcomb.

Castors Braine vs. TTT Riga

When: 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: RTL Spiroudome, Charleroi

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Linnae Harper and Megan Huff lead TTT Riga, who were upended by USK Praha last week. In that game, Riga turned the ball over 23 times. Meanwhile, Castors Braine played Ekaterinburg tough in Week 1, but lost. However, they proved that in spite of not currently featuring any WNBA players, they are not to be overlooked.

Bourges Basket vs. ZVVZ USK Praha

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Palais des Sports du Prado, Bourges

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Just as with her WNBA team in Connecticut, Alyssa Thomas powers USK Praha, playing alongside Sun teammate Brionna Jones. Marissa Coleman, Ana Dabović and Bourges will have their hands full with Thomas, who racked up 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals in Week 1.

Thursday, October 24

Sopron Basket vs. Fenerbahçe Öznur Kablo

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Novomatic Aréna Sopron, Sopron

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Fenerbahçe figures to be one of the more exciting teams this EuroLeague season, featuring plenty of post defense in Kiah Stokes and Elizabeth Williams and talented wing players such as Alina Iagupova (who was named Week 1’s top performer), Anna Cruz and Cecilia Zandalasini. Sopron — led by Briann January — will have their work cut out for them.

LDLC ASVEL Féminin vs. Spar CityLift Girona

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Gymnase Mado Bonnet, Lyon

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: LDLC ASVEL Féminin features a melting pot of current and former international WNBA talent, including Alysha Clark, Marine Johannès and Clarissa dos Santos. They’ll be looking to bounce back from a Week 1 loss to Kursk against Girona, who is led by Brittney Sykes.