Right across Europe, the rising stars who appeared at the 2017 #FIBAU16Europe in Bourges and Division B in Skopje, as well as #FIBAU18Europe in Sopron and Dublin have been showing their talents at their respective clubs.
Many of the U16 players showcase their skills on multitude different mix platforms. Some players are continuing with Federation-led programs and teams, while others are playing in Junior Leagues, with some playing in pro-leagues, although mostly in second tier.
Here is just a selection of some of the names we are following.
(2002) Reka Dombai – Hungary
— Paul Nilsen (@basketmedia365) August 12, 2017
An All-Star Five member in Bourges and one to look out for in Minsk at the 2018 FIBA Women’s U17 Basketball World Cup, Dombai has been making some nice moves in a very competitive senior Hungarian League containing multiple EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women clubs. She has returned almost 18 minutes per game with Vasas Akademia and that is priceless court time. Her versatility is important and while not hugely athletic, she is well equipped with the fundamentals to be a very effective performer as she has nice shooting range. She has just struggled around the bucket so far, but that has been against some WNBA and high level players.
(2001) Raquel Carrera – Spain
Now 16 years old, Carrera has enjoyed a productive first few months of the Spanish season player in the Liga Femenina 2 – the second tier of basketball in Espana! In her 12 games with RC Celta she has averaged almost 30 minutes per game and is getting great opportunities to evolve her game. She has averaged a double-digit scoring return of 11.9 points per outing and most impressively is shooting a magnificent 55% from the field and a solid 82% from the free-throw line. Her work on the glass has been nice too, with 5.9 rebounds per game.
(2002) Ilaria Panzera – Italy
Still only 15-years-old, Panzera was outstanding in Bourges and is tipped to go all the way to the elite level. The wing star has had a reasonable season so far with Geas Sesto San Giovanni in the Italian second division. She may have only scored 8 points per game, but that is to be expected for such a very young player in a competitive league which is as good as some senior leagues in weaker European nations. Importantly she has shot 50% from two-point range which shows she has composure at the hoop – she just needs to get her perimeter game firing since the last time I checked out her form, she was a disappointing 7 of 27. She also recorded 3.5 boards and 1.6 assists per game.
(2001) Emily Bessoir – Germany
One of the best players at #FIBAU16Europe during both 2016 and 2017, Bessoir has really found some better consistency with her club team Jahn Muenchen who compete in the German Second Division – DBBL2. She has averaged a huge amount of minutes with over 31 per game and is not far away from a stellar double-double season, having harvested more than 14 points and 8 rebounds per game. She has perhaps not finished as deadly in the paint as she might have liked, but her ability and willingness to knock down triples in games continued to drag her defenders to the perimeter and create space for her teammates. A near-33% is proving just about enough to keep her defenders honest enough to respect that part of her game.
(2001) Nika Muhl – Croatia
BTravel WABA League Round 6: Tresnjevka 2009 beat Beroe 86-72. Lucija Kostic (#12,C,184-00) just missed a triple-double with 10 pts, 10 rbs and 9 as, Nika Muhl (#10,PG,176-01) had 14 pts, 8 rbs, 6 as. pic.twitter.com/Y4Ssp7KqVB
— WABA_W Bball Adria (@wababasketball) November 22, 2017
Muhl is still starring for Tresnjevka 2009 who remain the leaders in the Croatian League and she recently underlined her vast potential and skill set as she recorded her first triple-double with 13 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists! She is averaging more than 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game in the Adriatic League arguably the most highly performing player on our list (ignoring arguments over levels of leagues) and is not too far behind that productivity in the Croatia League.
(2001) Awak Kuier – Finland
— Basket.fi (@basketfinland) November 10, 2017
With her wingspan, athleticism and dunking ability, the raw talent looks to be so exciting and now she can also call herself a senior player with Finland after taking part in last month’s FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2019 Qualifiers! She has a long way to go to refine her game and have that potential nurtured, but what you can’t ignore is how good she could be one day. Kuier is playing decent minutes for Peka in the Finnish League and they are handling her gently – not giving her too many minutes or expecting too much. So much time on her side!
(2001) Helena Pueyo – Spain
Segle XXI vs @PortaXIEnsino en Liga Femenina 2. Un lujo poder ver a nuestras dos representantes cara a cara a este nivel. Victoria para @NuriaDomingo2. Mejores números para @Helena_Pueyo6. pic.twitter.com/EfHXpEK2UC
— AEB La Salle Palma (@cblasalle) November 12, 2017
With such a great basketball brain, hopes are sky-high that Pueyo can continue to establish herself into a future senior team contender – although in Spain, that is always very, very tough with so much competition. She has enjoyed a really smooth season for Segle in the second division in her country, producing 9.7 points, 5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Her shooting has been really good too from downtown at 19 of 47 in her opening 12 games.
(2001) Iliana Rupert – France
The U16 Bourges MVP, Rupert plays for the French Federation’s CFBB side in the second tier of basketball in her homeland – sharing things with many of her title winning teammates from last summer. The forward is doing well with more than 11 points and 7 boards per game and just needs to work on her shooting range – currently 8 of 28 behind the three-point line. If she can get that into the 30% plus ballpark – she is going to be even tougher to guard.
(2001) Kendra Chery – France
With her superb physicality and athleticism, Chery is always going to be a real handful and is just working on becoming a more consistent scorer as she can blow hot and cold offensively. But there is lots to like and her upsides are multiple. Currently knocking out more than 7 points and 4 rebounds per game.
(2001) Marine Fathoux – France
Just so smart and as you can see above, always bigging up her colleagues, her team-first approach gets the thumbs up from her coaches and her peers. She is suffering a little from long-range this season with 12 of 53 which hurts, but she is still doing the business creating and getting to the hoops as she can punish teams with her excellent free-throw shooting.
We will catch up soon with another selection of players to see how these prospects are