With the 2021 WNBA season nearly over, it’s once again time to set our sights on international basketball. EuroLeague Women — commonly referred to as the world’s top international women’s basketball competition — is set to begin its regular season next week, returning to its typical months-long format.
We’ll have more on specific games in the coming days, but in the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of the EuroLeague Women competition, including rule changes from the previous season and which household names will be playing where.
What is EuroLeague Women?
EuroLeague Women is an annual international basketball event held by FIBA. It features 16 of Europe’s top basketball teams from all over the continent, typically playing an extensive regular season spanning several months before competing for the EuroLeague Women Championship, which is held in a bracket format.
What’s different about EuroLeague Women for 2021-22?
Last season, FIBA had to take a modified approach to EuroLeague Women due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season was dramatically shortened, while travel restrictions forced teams to be grouped in four “bubbles” of four teams each.
For the 2021-22 season, things are back to normal. The EuroLeague Women regular season will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 6, with games being played weekly until the playoffs begin in late February. The 16 teams will be separated into two groups; the top four teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs, while the No. 5 and No. 6 teams will participate in the EuroCup Women playoffs (another FIBA competition not to be confused with EuroLeague Women).
Why should I follow EuroLeague Women?
An excellent question!
EuroLeague Women boasts perhaps the highest level of competition of any international women’s basketball event. The best teams in Europe compete, which includes a preseason qualifying round to determine the final two contending teams. While there is typically a handful of teams that are clear favorites to win the competition, the level of play during the event is generally considered to be tops in Europe.
Not only is EuroLeague Women great basketball, it’s also easily accessible. From a dedicated and aesthetically pleasing FIBA website containing the league rulebook and a news section to keep you up to date to a YouTube channel that has free live streams of every EuroLeague Women game, the competition is easy to follow, even if you can’t watch the games live. Following your favorite WNBA players overseas can be a challenge, but for those competing in EuroLeague Women, video, stats and news are easily attainable.
Who competes in EuroLeague Women?
Here is the list of teams competing in the 2021-22 EuroLeague Women season, along with players WNBA and American basketball fans will be familiar with (per the official FIBA website):
MBA Moscow (Russia) — None yet
BLMA (France) — Haley Peters, Avery Warley-Talbert, Olivia Epoupa, Sydney Wallace
UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia) — Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Emma Meesseman, Maria Vadeeva, Alex Bentley, Alba Torrens
Umana Reyer (Italy) — Astou Ndour-Fall, Kayla Thornton, Yvonne Anderson
KSC Szekszárd (Hungary) — Cyesha Goree
TTT Riga (Latvia) — None yet
ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic) — Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones, Maria Conde
Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca (Spain) — Kahleah Copper, Katie Lou Samuelson, Karlie Samuelson, Bella Alarie, Maite Cazorla, Emese Hof, Silvia Dominguez
VBW Arka Gdynia (Poland) — Megan Gustafson, Morgan Bertsch
Spar Girona (Spain) — Michaela Onyenwere, Kennedy Burke, Laia Palau, Rebekah Gardner
Fenerbahçe (Turkey) — Satou Sabally, Alina Iagupova, Elizabeth Williams, Bria Hartley, Kayla McBride, Kiah Stokes, Amanda Zahui B.
Basket Landes (France) — Sophie Cunningham, Celine Dumerc, Marianna Tolo, Clarissa dos Santos, Regan Magarity, Marine Fauthoux, Valériane Vukosavljević
Beretta Famila Schio (Italy) — Charli Collier, Kitija Laksa, Sandrine Gruda, Kim Mestdagh
Galatasaray (Turkey) — Riquna Williams
Sopron Basket (Hungary) — Gabby Williams, Briann January, Shey Peddy, Bernadett Határ
Dynamo Kursk (Russia) — Arike Ogunbowale, Natasha Howard
Keep in mind that this list is subject to change! It’s not unusual to see players come and go throughout the course of a EuroLeague Women season due to contracts expiring, late arrivals or other reasons.
How do I watch EuroLeague Women?
All EuroLeague Women games will be streamed for free on FIBA’s YouTube channel. The games will be archived in case you miss them. FIBA also usually posts highlights of the games on the channel, as does the league’s Twitter account.