26 May 2023
VIENNA (Austria) - Get ready because the best players in the women's game are about to put on a show at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023 on May 30-June 4.
As we count down to this year's biggest event, let's look at 10 players to watch in Vienna.
Laetitia Guapo (France)
The reigning World Cup MVP just has to start this loaded list after Guapo inspired France to a triumph for the ages last year in Antwerp.
It was redemption after numerous heartbreaks with Guapo also part of France's double delight when they claimed the subsequent FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2022.
The 27-year-old athletic marvel will be hoping 2023 is just as successful and you feel she's now right at the peak of her powers.
You'll be foolish thinking she can't walk off with back-to-back MVPs because Guapo is born for the big stage.
Hailey van Lith (USA)
All on board the bandwagon! The 21-year-old phenom is born to be a star no matter which court she steps on.
HVL especially loves the half-court having claimed MVP at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2019.
But the walking W was shook after Team USA fell in the quarters at last year's World Cup and she'll be out to inspire her mighty hoops country back to the top.
With Kobe once her mentor, expect Van Lith to be locked in and pulling out her lethal lefty J, especially in crunch time when she's draining the dagger.
As the biggest name on Team USA, there will be pressure on HVL but that should lift her to even greater heights.
Lili Wang (China)
We haven't been able to see as much of this speedy 5ft.9in (1.75m) star in recent years, but good things happen for China every time she does play.
In a frightening prospect for opponents, Lili Wang is back playing regularly and she's making up for lost time having already dominated the early stages of the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series 2023.
She's an absolute flame thrower who is simultaneously inspiring her billion plus compatriots to dream big.
Lili Wang fittingly wears No.23 - a number reserved for greatness - and she might just be the favorite to top the scoring charts in Vienna because no one has been able to stop her yet.
Michelle and and Katherine Plouffe (Canada)
What's been the key to Canada's success over the years in 3x3?The one-two punch of Michelle and Katherine Plouffe, who are mirror images of each other on the half-court.
It's double trouble for opponents who don't know which one hit them. Michelle has become the best player in the world and Katherine isn't far behind as the family trophy cabinet fills up quickly.
But they are missing a World Cup title after falling short to France in the final so you just know they will be doubly determined to win 3x3's biggest prize.
Marta Canella (Spain)
You want someone to stuff the stats sheet then it is probably this spectacular Spaniard, who is a Europe Cup winner and has tasted success on the Women’s Series too.
Spain have long been a power with their players having a never-say-die attitude that has helped them beat the odds.
The determined Canella has been at the heart of this and she'll show all her passion in Vienna.
Soraya Mohamed (Egypt)
The 27-year-old Soraya has stamped herself as the best women's player in Africa having led Egypt to gold medals at the FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup in 2019 and 2022.
Now the 'African Queen' is looking for global domination in Vienna as she puts her insane skills to the test.
There won't be too many more dynamic players than Soraya, who is an ankle breaker and walking bucket too. She's just plain mean!
The entire world is now ready to see Africa's best kept secret unleashed.
Lauren Mansfield (Australia)
It can sometimes be easy to overlook the 5ft. 7in (1.7m) Mansfield among her towering teammates, but she's a flat-out assassin and often the most intimidating player on the half-court.
She's not just a knockdown shooter with Mansifeld also boasting insane handles and can run rings out of opponents.
Part of Australia's all-conquering FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023 gold medal winning team, Mansfield is determined to help them taste a first-ever World Cup title.
We'll wait and see if that happens but you just know Lauren Mansfield will have the shooter's roll.
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Natalie van den Adel (Netherlands)
This imposing Dutchwoman stands at 6ft. 1in (1.85m) and usually makes the paint her personal playground, but also boasts the skills and athleticism to dominate from well beyond the basket.
She is also a defensive menace who can influence a game on that end and she loves nothing more than having a block party.
If the Netherlands do paint Vienna orange then Natalie van den Adel will probably walk off with the MVP.
Kamile Nacickaite (Lithuania)
The 5ft. 11in (1.81m) lethal Lithuanian is a scoring machine and can score from inside and out to be a threat from all over the half-court.
Nacickaite has shown plenty of times before that she loves having the Wilson in her hands when the game is on the line.
She made the leap last year in 2022, where she almost tasted a medal at the World Cup.
Nacickaite is ready to go up a gear and if she does that then Lithuania might just get the medal they've been waiting for.
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Sonja Greinacher (Germany)
You thought superstar Sonja Greinacher couldn't get any better? Think again. The towering German has lit up the early stages of the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series 2023 and she somehow seems to have an even deeper bag.
The 6ft. 3in (1.9m) Greinacher is determined to get back to the No.1 ranking, but more importantly she is eyeing lifting Germany to a first-ever World Cup title.
There might not be a scarier presence than Greinacher who is unstoppable in the paint - an area she might totally own in Vienna.
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