Each of the 32 national teams in the 2023 FIBA men’s World Cup will receive “financial encouragement,” according to a report. A total of 3.2 million euros will be distributed among the participants, and the top 16 teams will receive an additional 100,000 euros each.

The report caught the attention of Belgium national player Emma Meesseman, who lamented the prize money – or lack thereof – allocated for the 2022 FIBA women’s World Cup.

“One year after the Women’s World Cup Championship, where nobody got any ‘financial encouragement.’ Thanks FIBA,” Meesseman wrote sarcastically on X.

The United States defeated China, 83-61, in the 2022 final, for its fourth consecutive championship. A’Ja Wilson scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds and two steals against China.

“This is why you sacrifice,” Wilson told reporters then. “My teammates hold me accountable. They put me in the best situation so I didn’t really feel tired. This is what we live for. This is honestly my job and I love my job. I love what I do and now I can go to sleep. I’m so excited. My bed is literally calling my name.”

Meesseman’s tournament ended in the quarterfinal, when Australia beat Belgium, 86-69.

In the men’s final, Germany will play Serbia on Sunday morning.

A year after Liz Cambage and the Sparks agreed to a contract divorce and her time in Los Angeles came to an unceremonious end, the Australian basketball star has emerged from a quiet year to speak about the Sparks, the WNBA and the controversy that’s plagued her career.

Cambage joined Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks for an explosive interview that dropped Monday. During the conversation, which lasted an hour and a half, Cambage denied allegations that she used a racial slur toward the Nigerian national team and said she left the Sparks halfway through last season because of a “toxic situation,” among other topics.

The Sparks have not commented on the claims nor addressed Cambage’s departure since releasing the following statement during the 2022 season:

“It is with support that we share Liz Cambage’s decision to terminate her contract with the organization,” Sparks Managing Partner Eric Holoman said last July. “We want what’s best for Liz and have agreed to part ways amicably. The Sparks remain excited about our core group and are focused on our run towards a 2022 playoff berth.”

The Sparks also did not respond to a request for comment from Just Women’s Sports. Meanwhile, many are questioning the validity of Cambage’s claims, including former teammates and opponents.

Cambage opened the interview by discussing her decision to leave L.A. after 25 games in 2022. The four-time WNBA All-Star said she signed with the Sparks on a “Hollywood lie” that included the organization offering to buy her a car, pay her rent and cover other expenses.

Per the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement, such perks would appear to fall under the category of impermissible benefits. Cambage was set to earn $170,000 in 2022 after signing a one-year deal with the Sparks that February, and she reportedly agreed to $141,386 in exchange for the contract divorce.

Cambage went on to tell Rooks that she left in the middle of the season to get out of a “toxic” environment.

“I’m dealing with a lot of disrespect, a lot of turbulent players in the locker room,” she said. “I’m telling coaches, I’m telling the GM, I’m telling ownership what’s going on, and no one cares.”

Cambage ultimately decided to leave the team during a regular-season game against the Las Vegas Aces on July 23. She said her Sparks teammates were “yelling at her” because “they didn’t know how to make a lob pass,” and after an Aces player took a charge against her and she got subbed out, she told Chiney Ogwumike that she was “done.”

Cambage played 25 games with the Sparks in 2022 before leaving midseason. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Former Sparks teammate Jordin Canada took to Twitter on Tuesday to dispute the claims that Cambage was mistreated.

“I usually keep to myself and mind my business but Bleacher Report if y’all want the REAL TRUTH, call me,” Canada wrote.

Cambage’s exit from the Sparks last season was messy, but not necessarily surprising. Since being drafted in 2011, Cambage has played for 12 different teams, four in the WNBA and several overseas in China, Australia and Israel. She has never played consecutive seasons with one team.

Her WNBA stints include being drafted by Tulsa in 2011, a team Cambage was vocal about not wanting to play for. She spent one season there before leaving to play in China. She came back in 2013 to play 20 games with the Shock before exiting the WNBA until 2018. She then played a season in Dallas and two seasons in Las Vegas (with a year off in between), before playing part of the 2022 season in L.A.

Cambage wasn’t the only source of dysfunction in L.A. last season. The Sparks fired head coach and general manager Derek Fisher in June after a disappointing tenure. Chennedy Carter, the mercurial talent whom Fisher reportedly pushed the team to sign in the offseason, was benched during the season for poor conduct and waived this past March.

Cambage told Rooks that she doesn’t understand why her short stints across the WNBA are controversial, saying she “knows girls who have played for every team.” Cambage referenced Candace Parker as someone who’s played for multiple franchises. The two-time WNBA champion has been in the league for 16 seasons, playing 13 in L.A. and two in Chicago before signing with the Aces before this season.

Outside of the WNBA, Cambage also controversially parted ways with the Australian national team in 2021, citing mental health concerns as part of her reasoning not to represent the team. This followed a pre-Olympics scrimmage with Nigeria, in which an on-court altercation ensued and Cambage allegedly directed a racial slur at Nigeria’s players.

In the interview, Cambage said the video footage from the scrimmage would prove she didn’t do anything wrong and that she was “assaulted.” The video, circulated on Tuesday, shows a Nigerian player ran at Cambage on the sideline and struck her with a punch. The video also shows Cambage’s elbow making contact with the player’s head on the court prior to the altercation.

Following the scrimmage in 2021, both Australian and Nigerian players said that Cambage called the Nigerian players “monkeys” and told them to “go back to their third-world country.”

Cambage denied making the remarks in her interview with Rooks and said she was in talks to play for the Nigerian team in the future. Cambage’s father is Nigerian.

Cambage represented Australia at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Nigeria guard Promise Amukamara disputed both claims on Twitter, saying, “She called us Monkeys & told us to go back to our country. Yes she said that! Literally everyone from both teams have the same story BUT her, so y’all do the math!”

Amukamara also denied that Cambage was in talks to play for Nigeria, something her teammate Sarah Ogoke echoed on Twitter.

“We are not recruiting you and you definitely spewed racist profanities against us during our scrimmage,” Ogoke wrote.

Babs Ogunade, Vice President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, later told ESPN reporter Colin Udoh that there was no truth to Cambage’s claim that she was “in cahoots” with Nigeria to switch her allegiance and play for them.

“Disregard the news,” he said. “I don’t know who she is talking to. Not me and definitely not (NBBF President) Kida.”

Cambage attempted to clarify her comments in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday. While she continued to deny using a racial slur against the Nigerian players, she also said she never stated that she had “officially joined the Nigerian national team.”

“Instead, I expressed my interest in joining the team and representing Nigeria,” Cambage wrote. “I had discussions with staff members about the necessary steps to become eligible, and thought I was doing them. I extend my best wishes to all players on D’Tigress.”

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Team USA took home silver at the FIBA AmeriCup, falling to Brazil in the championship game, 69-58.

Rickea Jackson led the United States in that game with 17 first-half points. She finished with a game-high 22 points, adding eight rebounds, one steal and a block. LSU star Angel Reese had four points and six rebounds for the squad, which featured a roster full of college stars.

Reese finished the tournament with three double-doubles and 78 rebounds through seven games. Jackson, meanwhile, led Team USA in scoring during the tournament and earned a spot on the All-Star Five.

“All the credit to Brazil, they have a ton of experience,” Jackson said. “They’ve been together for many years and for this USA team to come down here, only being together for two weeks and still making it to the championship game, just says a lot about our toughness and our grit. We’re a very young team, but I feel like we showed we can hang with anybody.”

South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso starred for Brazil, scoring 20 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game to help clinch the gold medal for her team.

It was the USA’s second loss to Brazil during the tournament, following a loss during group play. Other than those two games, the U.S. went undefeated in the tournament. Head coach Kamie Ethridge praised her players Sunday, noting that they were part of a “young team.”

“I hope they take away that they shouldn’t back down to anybody. USA Basketball shouldn’t be satisfied with gold, that’s just in us. We need to win gold,” she said. “But we put this team in a position that was almost an impossible thing that we were asking them to do, and they almost did it anyway.”

Reese called it a “blessing & honor” to play for Team USA during the offseason before she gears up for a title defense with LSU.

“Such a blessing & honor to play with this team!” she wrote. “Even though we fell short, I loved every moment of being able to represent my country! BACK TO WORK!”

The U.S. women’s 3×3 basketball team won gold at the 2023 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, and the celebrations included spraying head coach Jennifer Rizzotti with champagne.

LSU star transfer Hailey Van Lith was the one to deliver the shower, following it up by grabbing a second bottle of champagne. Rizzotti, who’s also the president of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, ended the celebration soaked and in need of a new shirt.

Rizzotti later responded to the video on Twitter, noting that it was “worth every drop, even in my eyes.”

“But you know what they say about payback @haileyvanlith so watch your back,” she continued.

The gold medal was the U.S. women’s third in the 3×3 World Cup and first since 2014. Stanford forward Cameron Brink was named MVP of the tournament after the U.S. defeated France 16-12 in the final.

Rizzotti led a team made up of the two NCAA stars alongside 3×3 veterans Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper.

The U.S. women won the 2023 FIBA 3×3 World Cup on Sunday, defeating France 16-12 in the gold medal game. It is the U.S. women’s third 3×3 title, but first since 2014.

The U.S. squad was made up of two current NCAA players in LSU transfer Hailey Van Lith and Stanford’s Cameron Brink, plus two longtime 3×3 veterans in Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper. Burdick, who graduated from Tennessee in 2015 and has played stints with a multiple WNBA teams, was also a member of the U.S. team that won 3×3 gold in 2014.

The Americans went 7-1 during the tournament, losing only to Canada during the first game of group play.

In the gold medal game, Burdick and Van Lith each recorded seven points and six rebounds. Brink, competing in her first ever 3×3 competition, was named tournament MVP after amassing 39 points and 45 rebounds in eight games.

Thanks to the top-four finish, the U.S. women also qualified for the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be held in early 2024 ahead of the Paris Olympics. It is also possible the U.S. won’t need to attend that tournament if its 3×3 world ranking improves between now and November, when the top three nations will earn automatic Olympic berths (the U.S. is currently ranked fourth).

The U.S. women won gold in the Olympic debut of 3×3 basketball in 2021 with a roster of WNBA standouts: Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.

LSU star Angel Reese leads the eight players selected for the Team USA roster for the 2023 Women’s AmeriCup.

“DELAYED BUT NOT DENIED. THANK YOU GOD,” Reese wrote on Twitter in celebration of her selection.

A leader for LSU’s 2023 national champion squad, Reese takes another step in her career on the international stage. She previously had been a finalist for Team USA’s youth teams, as she outlined on her Twitter account, but made the cut this time around.


Reese is joined by a bevy of other college stars for the tournament, which is held every two years and features teams from 10 different countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean. Team USA has won the AmeriCup four times, including at the last two tournaments in 2019 and 2021.

South Carolina’s Raven Johnson, Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson and Jewel Spear, UCLA’s Lauren Betts and Charisma Osborne, USC’s Rayah Marshall and Michigan’s Laila Phelia also made the squad. An additional five finalists were selected for training camp – Texas A&M’s Janiah Barker, Illinois’ Makira Cook, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu, Oregon’s Chance Gray and LSU’s Aneesah Morrow – with the 12-person roster to be announced before the team heads to the AmeriCup in July in Mexico.

As part of Group A, the U.S. will face Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela. They will open up group play against Venezuela on July 1.

Women’s sports television viewership continues to grow, with the EuroLeague and LPGA the latest examples of the boom.

The EuroLeague shattered previous highs for engagement in 2022-23, reaching 3.4 million engagements and 124 million impressions for the season. Video views also increased on their YouTube channel, nearly doubling from 25 million in 2021-22 to 48 million this year.

Among the causes for the EuroLeague’s rise is a “rapidly expanding interest from the USA,” according to FIBA. Not only was the U.S. ranked first in the EuroLeague’s audience demographics, surpassing Turkey and Spain, but their use of the league’s website increased by 133 percent in 2022-23.

“We are extremely proud to see the continued rise in popularity of EuroLeague Women. The increased digital growth shows that there is a dedicated and passionate audience that keeps building,” said FIBA Executive Director Europe, Kamil Novak.

“As always, we must continue to push forward in order to reach greater heights and help raise the profile of the women’s game in line with FIBA’s key strategic pillars.”

Meanwhile, the Chevron Championship this past weekend — the first LPGA major of the year — was the most-watched edition of the tournament since 2010. It was also NBC Sports’ most-watched Chevron Championship on record.

The final round on NBC averaged 941,000 viewers, peaking at 1.54 million as Lilia Vu defeated Angel Yin in a one-hole playoff. It was the top-rated sports program on NBC for the week, featured among the top programs for the week across all broadcast networks and was among the top 10 sports broadcasts on Sunday — despite competing against the NBA and NHL playoffs.

The viewership also marked a considerable jump from last year, when the tournament drew 349,000 average viewers on the Golf Channel.

The positive numbers are a reflection of the overall growth in women’s sports attendance and viewership, with the most recent NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament shattering TV records in women’s college basketball.

A’ja Wilson is on a tear, helping Team USA to its fourth consecutive World Cup gold less than two weeks after winning the WNBA championship with the Las Vegas Aces.

The United States downed China 83-61 in the tournament final Friday, logging the largest margin of victory in a World Cup title match.

Wilson was her dominant self, notching 19 points, five rebounds and two steals to help clinch the World Cup trophy. The Aces star averaged 17.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks through the competition, earning her World Cup MVP honors.

“This is why you sacrifice,” Wilson told reporters after the win. “My teammates hold me accountable. They put me in the best situation so I didn’t really feel tired. This is what we live for. This is honestly my job and I love my job. I love what I do and now I can go to sleep. I’m so excited. My bed is literally calling my name.”

Wilson’s FIBA gold and MVP nod join her WNBA MVP award, first defensive player of the year honor and WNBA title, capping off an extraordinary season.

“I’ve been here before, I’ve had players where A’ja is, where you win a WNBA championship, you come over and you win gold,” Team USA head coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It’s really, really special. And they make it look easy. It’s not. They’re tremendously talented. A’ja Wilson is tremendously talented.”

Wilson’s Aces teammates, 2022 WNBA Finals MVP Chelsea Gray and 2022 WNBA All-Star MVP Kelsey Plum, also put on a show in Australia, with the Las Vegas trio combining for 46 points in Friday’s final.

“It just feels complete. On my list of things that I wanted to accomplish this year, this was like the final check, and so I’m just really proud,” Plum said. “Proud of this team, proud of the way that we finished. It’s really hard to do what we did in terms of coming together late, not practicing, everyone’s beat up physically, mentally. Come over here… people are just dogs and I’m really proud to play next to people like that.”

Plum expanded on her sentiments in a Twitter post, sharing a photo of her goals list ahead of the 2022 WNBA season. All-Star, All WNBA, WNBA Champion and World Champion made up the lofty list, with Plum checking off each of her goals.

Team USA’s victory officially qualifies the United States for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

So far during the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, only one team has challenged the United States.

When China clashed with Team USA during group play on Sept. 23, they kept the score closer than any other team, losing 77-63 to a U.S. squad that has defeated its opponents by an average of 39.9 points heading into the gold-medal game.

China has been dominant in its own right, beating all of its opponents, including host Australia in the semifinals.

The two sides will meet at 2 a.m. ET Saturday morning to battle for the world championship, with plenty of star power leading each team. The game will air on ESPN and stream live on ESPN+.

Here are the most dominant Chinese and American players so far.

A’ja Wilson

The WNBA regular-season MVP and Defensive Player of the Year has continued her commanding play after leading the Las Vegas Aces to their first WNBA title.

Just 18 hours after getting off her plane in Sydney, Wilson dropped 20 points against China, and she hasn’t let up since. Wilson has averaged 16.8 points and 8 rebounds per game over her five appearances. In the semifinals, she helped Team USA blow past Canada with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Wilson is also perfect from the free-throw line, making all 18 of her attempts, and is shooting an efficient 70.2% from the field.

Kelsey Plum

Another Aces player making her mark at the international level, Plum is averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game through five games in a USA uniform.

Like Wilson, she’s been efficient in scoring, shooting 62.5% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 90% from the free-throw line. Plum has also been near a double-double twice, with 19 points and 9 assists against Korea and then 20 points and 7 assists in a matchup with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Breanna Stewart

In case we needed any more evidence as to why she’s about to be the most sought-after WNBA free agent this offseason, Stewart continues to turn in impressive international performances.

She’s averaging 13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game, doing a little bit of everything for Team USA.

Stewart opened FIBA play by leading her squad past Belgium with 22 points and 4 rebounds. In the semifinal contest with Canada, she had 17 points and 8 rebounds, as well as 3 blocked shots on defense.

Li Meng

Despite having two WNBA players on the roster, Li has stolen the show for China. The 27-year-old, who plays her professional basketball for the Shenyang Army Golden Lions, is leading her team with 16 points per game.

When China faced the U.S. in the group stage, Li played 32 minutes and scored 21 points. She went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Li also helped her team get by France in the quarterfinals with 23 points.

Throughout the World Cup, Li has continued her hot shooting from 3-point range, making 40.7% of her attempts.

Han Xu

A name that Liberty fans know well, Han played perhaps her best game of the tournament in the semifinals against Australia.

She had 19 points, 11 rebounds for a double-double, and added in 5 blocked shots on the defensive end. Han also shot 80% from the field (8-10) and made all three of her free-throw attempts. Her monster performance was especially crucial for China as Li Meng did not play due to a reported illness.

Over her seven games for China, Han has averaged 13 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked shots.

Li Yueru

Though she didn’t get many minutes for the Sky this season, Li is another player with WNBA experience. On the national stage, however, she is playing 17.7 minutes per game for China and making significant contributions.

The 24-year-old is averaging 8.9 points, 7 rebounds and 1.4 assists, while also using her 6-foot-7 frame to make an impact in the paint. Her two best games came in the group stage, when she recorded 13 points and 9 rebounds against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 16 points and 8 rebounds against Puerto Rico.

After winning the 2022 WNBA title, drinking champagne and celebrating with a championship parade, four Aces players – A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Iliana Rupert – boarded flights to Sydney, Australia.

The quartet made the long trek across the Pacific Ocean to compete for their national teams in the FIBA World Cup: Wilson, Gray and Plum for Team USA, Rupert for France.

Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas of the WNBA runner-up Connecticut Sun also are playing for the U.S., while teammate Jonquel Jones appeared for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The turnaround for all seven players was swift. The WNBA Finals ended Sept. 18 in Connecticut; Brionna Jones and Thomas departed the following day and were playing in Team USA’s tournament opener two days after that.

The journey also came with a major time difference, as Sydney is 14 hours ahead of Connecticut and 17 hours ahead of Las Vegas.

Fresh off the Aces’ parade, Wilson arrived just 18 hours before her team took on China on Saturday. After scoring 20 points in the 77-63 group stage victory, Wilson admitted to reporters that she was tired.

“I don’t know how I’m doing it,” Wilson said. I am exhausted, I’m not going to lie about it.”

Wilson isn’t the only one experiencing fatigue.

Jonquel Jones, who wrapped up her time in the FIBA World Cup with a loss to the United States on Tuesday, expressed a desire for FIBA and the WNBA to work together to change the schedules in the future.

“Praise God for keeping me healthy during this crazy time,” she tweeted. “Man I’m so thankful for this break. Your girl didn’t have anymore gas left in the tank. @FIBA @WNBA for the sake of the players please try to find some common ground. These last two weeks were craaazyyy!”

Even without the WNBA playoffs bumping up against the FIBA World Cup, the FIBA schedule is demanding. Jones and her squad played five games in six days, and Team USA did the same.

Team USA received a rest day before facing Serbia in Thursday’s quarterfinals, then advanced to a semifinal contest Friday against Canada. The U.S. won, 83-43, but players barely get to catch their breath before the championship game against China on Saturday.

Serbia coach Marina Maljković, who also coaches Fenerbahçe, a Turkish club with a roster that typically features multiple WNBA players, expressed similar concerns to Jones after her team’s loss in the quarterfinals.

“Talking to players, they really suffered this season, everywhere,” Maljković said. “Players around the world suffered this season because of tight schedules everywhere.”

Other WNBA players also agreed with Jones. Brittney Sykes retweeted the Sun forward’s statement, then offered her own thoughts.

“Man it’s really sad and frustrating to see players getting hurt … especially when you know it’s because of the lack of rest and so much toll put on our bodies,” she wrote. “Pulled my hamstring for the first time ever just a week ago… and I know it came from overuse.

“We have to find a better way to preserve our bodies… between WNBA and FIBA… There is literally no days off UNLESS you become injured… think about it.”

Team USA’s Kahleah Copper and Betnijah Laney both left Thursday’s game against Serbia with injuries.

After the game, coach Cheryl Reeve told reporters she suspected Laney had gotten the wind knocked out of her. As for Copper, Reeve said she was awaiting an evaluation before commenting on her status going forward.

No updates had been provided as of Thursday afternoon.