2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup: How to watch, Team USA storylines and schedule

Breanna Stewart #10 of Team United States high-fives teammate A'Ja Wilson #9.
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Team USA takes aim at a fourth consecutive FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup title when the tournament kicks off Wednesday in Sydney, Australia. This is the 19th edition of FIBA’s flagship women’s event, which began in 1953 and was won by the U.S., the nation’s first of 10 World Cup gold medals to date.

The 2022 tournament features 12 nations, including world No. 3 and host Australia, 2021 Olympic silver medalist Japan and 2021 bronze medalist France. Competition begins with round-robin play between two groups. The top four teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, where they’ll compete in a single-elimination format.

On the line: The winner punches its ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, while valuable FIBA world ranking points are also up for grabs.

How to watch the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

The 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will stream in the U.S. on ESPN+, with six games also airing on linear television.

Here is the streaming/TV schedule for the U.S. team’s five group play games:

Wednesday, Sept. 21 USA vs. Belgium 9:20 p.m. ET ESPN+
Thursday, Sept. 22 USA vs. Puerto Rico 8:20 p.m. ET ESPN+
Saturday, Sept. 24 USA vs. China 12:30 a.m. ET ESPN2
Monday, Sept. 26 USA vs. South Korea Midnight (12 a.m.) ET ESPN2
Tuesday, Sept. 27 USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Midnight (12 a.m.) ET ESPNU

Team USA roster for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

Team USA features five players hot off the WNBA Finals, including the champion Las Vegas Aces’ dynamic trio of 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson, 2022 WNBA Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, and All-Star MVP Kelsey Plum. The Connecticut Sun will be represented by triple-double history-maker Alyssa Thomas and 2022 WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Brionna Jones. On Tuesday, U.S. head coach Cheryl Reeve said it is unlikely all 12 players will be available for the team’s first game.

Ariel Atkins Guard 5-8 26 Washington Mystics Texas Duncanville, TX
Shakira Austin Center/Forward 6-5 22 Washington Mystics Mississippi Upper Marlboro, MD
Kahleah Copper Forward/Guard 6-1 28 Chicago Sky Rutgers Philadelphia
Chelsea Gray Guard 5-11 29 Las Vegas Aces Duke Manteca, CA
Sabrina Ionescu Guard 5-11 24 New York Liberty Oregon Walnut Creek, CA
Brionna Jones Forward 6-3 26 Connecticut Sun Maryland Havre de Grace, MD
Betnijah Laney Guard/Forward 6-0 28 New York Liberty Rutgers Clayton, DE
Jewell Loyd Guard 5-10 28 Seattle Storm Notre Dame Lincolnwood, IL
Kelsey Plum Guard 5-8 28 Las Vegas Aces Washington Poway, CA
Breanna Stewart Forward/Center 6-4 28 Seattle Storm Connecticut North Syracuse, NY
Alyssa Thomas Forward 6-2 30 Connecticut Sun Maryland Harrisburg, PA
A’ja Wilson Forward 6-5 26 Las Vegas Aces South Carolina Hopkins, SC

*Ages are as of Sept. 20, 2022

Team USA Coaching Staff: 

Title Name (Current WNBA/College team)
Head coach Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx)
Assistant coaches Mike Thibault (Washington Mystics), Kara Lawson (Duke University), Joni Taylor (Texas A&M University)
Court coaches Curt Miller (Connecticut Sun), Katie Smith (Minnesota Lynx)
Video coordinator Ashlee McGee (Minnesota Lynx)
Athletic trainers Courtney Watson (LA Sparks), Hannah Wengertsman (Phoenix Mercury)
Team physician Dr. Nancy Cummings
Sport performance Fran Parsons

RELATED: Las Vegas Aces win 2022 WNBA Championship, highlights from WNBA Finals Game 4

Team USA storylines to follow in Sydney

Fresh faces highlight Team USA’s roster for Sydney, where exactly half of the U.S. players will make their debut for USA Basketball in a major international competition: Brionna Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, Kahleah Copper and Shakira Austin.

“We’re in a little bit of a transition,” said Breanna Stewart, the 2022 AP WNBA Player of the Year who’s won two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup titles as a member of Team USA. “But it really gives an opportunity for young players to come in and show what they’ve got and help take USA Basketball to the next level — and understand that everybody wants to beat us. Nobody wants us to win gold. And still, our goal every time that we are playing is to win the entire thing.”

The 2022 World Cup marks the first time since 2000 that the U.S. is without stalwarts Sue Bird (retired) and Diana Taurasi (injury), and it’s also missing veterans Tina Charles (opted out), Brittney Griner (detained in Russia since Feb. 17) and Sylvia Fowles (retired). Those five players have combined for a whopping 19 Olympic gold medals. Only five members of USA’s Tokyo 2021 gold-medal winning team are on the World Cup roster — Stewart, Ariel Atkins, Chelsea Gray, Jewell Loyd and A’ja Wilson — while Kelsey Plum (3×3 Olympic gold in 2021), Loyd, Stewart and Wilson are the only ones to have competed in the previous World Cup in 2018.

Additionally, the World Cup marks the first time at the helm for Team USA head coach Cheryl Reeve, who served as an assistant for the national team at the 2016 and 2021 Olympics and took over from Dawn Staley in December.

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: With Brittney Griner still in jail, WNBA players are skipping Russia

Format for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney features 12 national teams, with 38 games to be played over 10 days from Sept. 22-Oct. 1. The teams start with seven days of group play, with every team playing each team in their group once. Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a draw, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

Ahead of the knockout stage, a draw will be used to determine the pairings and bracket placement for the eight teams in the quarterfinals: The two best-ranked teams of each group (Group A and Group B) will be drawn against the two teams ranked third and fourth of the other group.

The tournament continues with two semifinal games on Friday, Sept. 30, with the winner of each semi advancing to the gold-medal game on Saturday, Oct. 1. The losers of each semifinal will play for bronze, also on Oct. 1.

Group A: 

  • Belgium
  • China
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Puerto Rico
  • Korea
  • USA

Group B: 

  • France
  • Serbia
  • Japan
  • Mali
  • Canada
  • Australia

Notably missing in Sydney: No. 2-ranked Spain, which failed to qualify; Nigeria, whose federation withdrew the team over governance issues; and Russia and Belarus, which were banned from participating due to their invasion and ongoing war in Ukraine.

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
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The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.

How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.

Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.

More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.