The qualifiers for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup are done, and the 12 team field is finalized. Here are the teams that made the World Cup from each of the groups in the qualifiers:
Group A: Serbia, Australia (host), Korea
Group B: China, Nigeria, France
Group C: Canada, Japan, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group D: United States (2020 Olympic winner), Belgium, Russia
The teams will be reseeded for the final tournament on Mar. 3 in Sydney, Australia.
Ariel Atkins makes Group D’s All-Star starting Five!
Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins averaged 10.5 points, 3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. She started both of Team USA’s matches against Belgium and Puerto Rico, averaging 22.5 minutes per game. While her overall stats weren’t as large as some of her teammates, Atkins continued to be a defensive pest where her impact regularly went beyond the box score. After starting and playing consistent minutes in both games, Atkins should be in good shape to make the 2022 World Cup roster this summer.
Emma Meesseman joins Atkins in the All-Star Five, where she was named the MVP of the group for Belgium. The rest of the All-Star Five was Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (USA), Raisa Musina (Russia) and Arella Guirantes (Puerto Rico).
Atkins isn’t the only Mystics player on a World Cup qualifying team. Lee-Seul Kang, who is on a training camp contract, represented Korea where she averaged 9 points and 3 rebounds per game in Group A play.
Rui Machida, who also signed a contract with Washington, did not play for Japan in the qualifiers. But given her performance in the Olympics last year, a spot will be there for her if she wants it. And Japan is certainly a team that we will be looking at more closely this summer.
Congratulations to Team USA, Korea and Japan for a successful performance in the qualifiers! And a special shout out goes to Ariel for rep’ing the Mystics and being one of the top performers in this tournament that was right here in D.C.!