The Olympic Games in Paris highlight the 2024 international basketball calendar. What do we hope to see happen there? And how can what happens in Paris and beyond contribute to a stronger women’s basketball world?
Here are our FIBA wishes:
More coverage of other national teams and leagues
Basketball is an international game and it’s growing every year. That’s why FIBA exists. And while it’s easy for Americans to contently sit in our own little bubble of spoils, there’s great basketball being played all over the world, and it’s a lot of fun to follow other leagues and national teams. The WNBA recently announced a partnership with the Australian WNBL to bring those games to WNBA League Pass, which is a terrific step towards globalizing our game. Considering how many WNBA players are either playing overseas every winter or compete for their respective national teams during FIBA competitions, I believe there’s plenty of room for similar partnerships in the near future. — Eric Nemchock
More parity and access for girls worldwide
The men’s basketball world has globalized significantly in recent years, and the days of American dominance are behind us. Would it be strange for an American to hope the same thing happens on the women’s side? The US women have won gold in six of the last seven FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, and have won the last four gold medal games by double digits.
My hope is that young girls from around the world will have access to quality basketball training and facilities, and that, as a result, a new generation of international talent will rise. Hopefully, that growth does not only take place in the world’s wealthier countries. It’s critical this growth reaches countries in all corners of the globe, particularly where women’s access to sports has been limited in the past. This past year, we saw the South Sudan men’s basketball team qualify for the Olympics for the first time, and I hope that similar milestones happen on the women’s side soon. — Noa Dalzell
Canada makes the Paris podium
Team Canada is on the rise in both men’s and women’s basketball. The men’s team just made history by winning bronze at the FIBA World Cup, and now the women will compete for an Olympic berth in February.
The Canadian senior women’s team finished fourth at the 2023 FIBA Women’s World Cup and are looking for a spot on the podium in Paris. That World Cup team was the first time Kia Nurse had suited up following her recovery from ACL surgery, and the team has only had time to improve in the last year. With talent like Nurse, Bridget Carleton, Laeticia Amihere, Aaliyah Edwards, Sami Hill, Kayla Alexander, Shay Colley and more ready to suit up in the red and white next year, Canada is ready to make a splash in international basketball. — Chelsea Leite
Providing the best coverage possible
Can I make it to Paris to cover the Olympics?
That’s the question I ask myself when I think about my role in basketball. My overall goal is to cover the sport to the best of my ability and to fight for access and opportunities to get that done. Sometimes, that means working for hours to get minutes with a player. Other times, it means traveling far and wide to go where the game is and provide the best perspective for the thousands of fans who want to know what’s happening.
I’d love to travel to Paris and be there to document everything about Team USA for both the women’s and men’s teams. If I could be there in person and give that perspective to our readers, I could write some special features for the basketball world this summer. If it’s not in the cards, I’ll still do my best coverage from the States. — Edwin Garcia
Caitlin Clark on Team USA
Determining which American stars with impressive WNBA resumes deserve one of the 12 spots on Team USA is complicated enough. Let’s make it more complicated by adding Caitlin Clark to the mix.
At Iowa, despite by being the first, second and third (and fourth and fifth) priority on opponents’ scouting reports, Clark still cooks, draining 3s, driving to the rim and diming teammates. Now, imagine her surrounded by A-plus talent. While we anticipate such a scenario with the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA season, the 2024 US Olympic Team would represent another level. Give me a stack pick and roll with Clark as the ball handler and Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson as the screeners. Stewie pops behind the 3-point line and A’ja rolls to rim, while Jewell Loyd spaces in a corner and Chelsea Gray waits on the wing. Pick your poison, Olympic opponents! Clark is blessed with options, made all the more enticing because of the threat of her pull-up 3.
Barring catastrophe, Team USA will win an eighth-straight gold medal. So, let’s send the most fun squad possible to Paris. That means putting Caitlin Clark in red, white and blue. — Cat Ariail