With less than three weeks before the Paris Olympics, official women’s basketball rosters are continuing to emerge in what’s shaping up to be an elite 12-nation tournament.

Three teams — China, Puerto Rico, and Serbia — have yet to announce their players, while Nigeria and Germany still have to whittle their provisional lineups down before the Summer Games begin.

Canada, Australia, Spain, and Belgium all recently dropped their 12-player squads, joining previously announced rosters from Tokyo medalists Team USA (gold), Japan (silver), and France (bronze).

Out of the 9 finalized and provisional teams, 27 players representing five countries currently play in the WNBA, with an additional 10 competing in the NCAA.

Australian basketball player Lauren Jackson on the court against China's Huang Sijing and Yang Shuyu
Australian basketball icon Lauren Jackson returns to international play for her fifth Olympic Games. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

International Olympic basketball teams to watch

With no less than seven WNBA players, Australia’s Olympic basketball lineup lists the most W stars outside of Team USA.

Led by NY Liberty coach Sandy Brondello, the Opals feature four rookies as well as three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson. At 43, the Aussie will become a five-time Olympian this summer after a 12-year hiatus from Olympic competition. 

Jackson, who called the final days leading up to the Opals roster drop "the hardest, pressure wise," will be looking to add to her medal collection in Paris — she’s never left the Games without one.

As for Canada, they’re bringing four tough WNBA standouts — Aaliyah Edwards (Mystics), Kia Nurse (Sparks), Laeticia Amihere (Dream), and Bridget Carleton (Lynx) — to Paris. Former Fever and Lynx center Natalie Achonwa also made the roster, becoming Canada’s first four-time Olympic women’s basketball player.

"Knowing this is my last time in that jersey, I want to cherish every second of this journey," Achonwa commented upon making the team.

belgium guard katie vanloo takes on team usa's jewell loyd
Washington's Julie Vanloo (Belgium) is one of several WNBA players set to face Team USA in Paris. (Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

Stiff Olympic competition for Team USA

Team USA’s path to an eighth-straight gold isn’t a walk in the park, with fellow Group C competitors Japan, Germany, and a strong Belgian side primed to give the States a run for its money.

Belgium made their Olympic debut in Tokyo, yet enter Paris as a serious podium contender behind 2021 WNBA champion and current FIBA EuroBasket MVP Emma Meesseman.

Outside Group C, France arguably poses the biggest Olympic basketball threat to the US. Les Bleues will look to former Sky and Storm forward Gabby Williams — France’s leader in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals — to help them move up the table.

Caitlin Clark continued to do Caitlin Clark things on Tuesday, nailing a buzzer-beater to give No. 4 Iowa a 76-73 win over Michigan State.

It was another signature logo 3-pointer, and marks her second such game-winning three in the last two seasons after she hit a similar shot against Indiana last year.

“Honestly, when it left my hand, I knew it was going in,” Clark said. “Those are situations we work on at the end of practice every single day.”

The shot had athletes like Alex Morgan tweeting, “CAITLIN CLARK IS HER.” Meanwhile others suggested that the NBA’s Detroit Pistons should draft the Iowa star.

An additional photo of the buzzer beater also made the rounds, quieting those who thought that Clark didn’t get the shot off in time.

“Caitlin has ice in her veins,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Everybody knows it.”

Even still, the shot doesn’t mask the struggles the Hawkeyes faced against the Spartans. A 25-point first-quarter was followed by just 10 points in the second, as Michigan State took a two-point lead into the locker room at the half.

“That second quarter was one of the worst ones I’ve seen of Iowa basketball,” Bluder said. “I was kind of frustrated we quit running our offense in the second quarter, and that allowed them to get back in the game.”

The stat sheet tells a little bit more of the story. Clark took 34 shot attempts for 40 points and only one other Hawkeyes was in double-digits: Hannah Stuelke. The Spartans, on the other hand, had four players in double-digits.

But at the end of the day, Iowa – and Clark – found a way to win.

“I almost started laughing,” Clark said. “I think everybody was like, ‘Oh, thank God, this game’s over with, we don’t have to go to overtime.’ You know, it was ugly, but it was a win, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.”

Dawn Staley has a simple message for those that don’t think anyone watches women’s sports: they’re wrong.

Staley’s shirt, which read “Everyone Watches Women’s Sports,” caught the attention of social media on Saturday. Postgame, she was asked about the shirt, which she says was sent to her. But the message is simple.

“A lot of times people think that people aren’t watching,” she said, before noting that those people are wrong. “Women’s basketball and women’s sports are at an all-time high. And it’s in high demand.

“Let people know, because there are a lot of people out there that don’t think we’ve got the numbers behind our sports, when it comes to women.”

Last year’s NCAA Final Four and national championship set viewership records, with 9.9 million people tuning in to watch LSU and Iowa play. Elsewhere, the WNBA and NWSL have seen record viewership in the last year as well.

The NWSL recently signed a new media rights deal, meanwhile, both women’s college basketball and the WNBA are set to negotiate new television contracts in the coming years. The NCAA is currently exploring options for the women’s college basketball tournament – which is traditionally packaged with other NCAA sports minus the men’s tournament, and is widely considered undervalued as is.

The WNBA on Sunday announced the 10 players — four guards and six frontcourt players — who will start the 2023 All-Star Game.

For a second straight year, the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson and the New York Liberty’s Breanna Stewart will serve as team captains after receiving the most fan votes of any All-Star starter.  Wilson received a grand total of 95,860 fan votes, while Stewart clocked in at 87,586.

In addition to Wilson and Stewart, the other frontcourt starters include Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury), Satou Sabally (Dallas Wings), Aliyah Boston (Indiana Fever) and Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks).

The four starting guards are Jackie Young (Las Vegas Aces), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas Wings) and Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces).

Boston, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 WNBA Draft, is the eighth rookie selected to start an All-Star Game but first since 2014. She is also the only first-time All-Star of the group, while Griner is the starter with the most All-Star appearances (9).

Wilson and Stewart will draft their teams during a special WNBA All-Star selection show on Saturday, July 8 (1 p.m. ET, ESPN). The WNBA All-Star Game will be played at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 15, with the game airing on ABC (5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET).

How does WNBA All-Star voting work?

WNBA All-Star starters were determined by a combination of fan voting (50%), media voting (25%) and current player voting (25%).

Twelve reserves will be selected by the league’s head coaches, who each vote for three guards, five frontcourt players and four players at either position — though they are restricted from voting for their own players.

2023 WNBA All-Star Starters

See below for two tables that show the breakdown of All-Star voting by fans, media members, and current players for the top-10 athletes at each position. Starters are indicated with an asterisk (*).

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.

If you have any doubt about Caitlin Clark’s popularity in her home state of Iowa, just take a look at how many fans stood in line to get her autograph ahead of an MiLB game between the Iowa Cubs and Columbus Clippers on Saturday.

Scott Reister of KCCC posted a video of the never-ending line on Twitter, reporting that the first fans showed up at 6 a.m. — 12 hours ahead of Clark’s ceremonial first pitch.

Clark also appears to have helped the Iowa Cubs — a Triple-A baseball team — get a major attendance bump: 10,692 fans showed up to Saturday’s game at Principal Park in Des Moines — about twice as many as the Iowa Cubs’ weekend home attendance average so far this season.

Brittney Griner made her unofficial return to WNBA competition on Friday night, playing 17 minutes and scoring 10 points in the Phoenix Mercury’s 90-71 preseason loss to the Los Angeles Sparks. It was Griner’s first WNBA game in 572 days after she was detained in Russia for nearly 10 months in 2022.

“I didn’t think I would be playing basketball this quickly,” Griner reflected post-game. “Even coming back, I didn’t know how it was going to go getting back into it. I mean, I’m grateful to be here for sure. I’m not going to take today for granted, but it was a lot to take in.”

Griner received a standing ovation from the crowd at Footprint Arena during her pre-game introduction. Many players on the visiting Sparks also stopped to give her a hug or to say hello.

“It is so good to have her back in this league,” said Curt Miller, the new head coach of the Sparks. “She is so talented. It doesn’t look like she missed a beat.”

Still, the eight-time WNBA All-Star was critical about her own play — especially her defensive effort — in her post-game comments.

“I knocked off some of the cobwebs. I guess there were a few more cobwebs than I thought,” Griner said with a laugh.

“I was happy with some of the shots that I took, but (on) defense, I’ve got to be a lot better. … Coach (Vanessa Nygaard) keeps telling me to give myself grace, but that’s hard.”

Nygaard echoed that sentiment. “This is a person who’s been off for more than a year here and she’s been battling and working really, really hard, but I thought she did some really good stuff,” she said.

The Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks meet again next week in the first official game of the 2023 WNBA season. That game, scheduled for Friday, May 19, tips off at Crypto.com arena at 8 pm PT / 11 pm ET (ESPN). The Mercury will then return home for team’s home opener against the Chicago Sky on Sunday, May 21.

Less than a month ago, Alexis Morris helped LSU win its first ever women’s basketball title. Now, the WNBA rookie is calling on college teams to better prepare athletes for the pro game.

Morris, who was drafted by the Connecticut Sun as the No. 22 overall pick, took to TikTok after her first day of group workouts with the Sun.

“This is for the colleges and the institutions: in order to grow the league, you have to prep the players for what’s to come. In order to do that, you have to watch the league, you have to see the style of play, the systems that they’re running, so that the adjustment and the transition for college players — women’s college players — to the WNBA won’t be so difficult.

“I’m not saying that it’s difficult for everybody. But I do think that the style of play that you play in college can either help or hurt you when you’re transitioning to college.”

Morris has more college experience than most. The Texas native started her college career at Baylor (playing for Kim Mulkey), but was dismissed from the team after a reported arrest. She transferred to Rutgers (where C. Vivian Stringer was head coach), but had to sit out a year due to the NCAA’s then transfer rules. She then made the move to Texas A&M for one year before concluding her college career by playing two seasons at LSU (where Mulkey had been hired as head coach). In her video, she didn’t specify how her own college experience prepared her for the WNBA.

Morris is one of 20 players on Connecticut’s preseason training roster. A max of 12 athletes will make the team, but that number could be as low as 11 depending on when the team’s salary cap is hit.

Morris isn’t the first person to suggest college players need better preparation for the WNBA. After the 2022 WNBA Draft, then Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller — who has since been hired by the Los Angeles Sparks — said of the 30 prospects he spoke to prior to draft night, 80% either didn’t follow the WNBA or follow it closely.

More recently, Kelsey Plum announced that she was partnering with Under Armour to launch “DawgClass,” a three-day camp for top women’s college basketball guards with the goal of helping ease the transition between NCAA competition and the WNBA.

“The women’s game has such a massive gap in the transition from college to pro, unlike any other professional sport,” Plum told Just Women’s Sports.

“You’re just kind of thrown into the fire and you’re on your way, it’s like sink or swim.”

@luthorrrrr First day as a #connecticutsun ! Here’s my take away from my personal experiences! #fyp #beapromovement #fyp #womensbasketball ♬ original sound - Alexis Morris

Breanna Stewart led Fenerbahce to its first ever EuroLeague women’s title on Sunday. In the process, the two-time WNBA champion broke the record for most points in a modern Euroleague women’s final and earned Final Four MVP honors.

Stewart recorded 35 points — including 26 in the first half — in the 99-60 win over CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld. (The previous record, 31 points, was set by Diana Taurasi in 2009.)

While Stewart previously played for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, the 28-year-old made the switch to the Istanbul-based Fenerbahce following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the detainment of Brittney Griner.

Stewart wasn’t the only WNBA player to star in Sunday’s all-Turkish EuroLeague basketball final. Fenerbahce’s roster also included Satou Sabally (11 points), Emma Meesseman (10 points), Kayla McBride (16 points), and Courtney Vandersloot (5 points), while CBK Mersin’s roster was highlighted by Elizabeth Williams (10 points), Chelsea Gray (9 points), and Tiffany Hayes (3 points).

A week after Angel Reese led LSU to the school’s first national title, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update included a parody of the NCAA basketball star.

Reese was portrayed by Louisiana native Punkie Johnson, who started her impression by making the ‘you can’t see me’ gesture and pointing to her ring finger.

The full video of Johnson’s Angel Reese impression is embedded below.

Later on Weekend Update, women’s basketball got a callback when Michael Che joked that Jill Biden would be inviting Iowa’s women’s basketball team to the coronation of King Charles.