Laura Hodges-Famous Australian Female Basketball Player

Besides football and baseball, basketball is the most popular sport in Australia. Notably, the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) created many professional players.

Born on December 13, 1983, Laura Hodges is an incredible role model for the aspiring young females in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).

She first played in the WNBL in 1999 with the Australian Institute of Sport. At the age of 18, the Sturt Sabres Basketball Club junior won the WNBL Rookie of the Year with the Australian Institute of Sport. She then returned home to play with the Adelaide Lightning for four years.

The strong playing style of Hodges was recognized by the WNBA. Hodges was drafted to the Connecticut Suns in 2005. Hodges played with the Suns for two seasons and then played with Toronto, Parma, and Bracco Geas for the next six years.

In 2012, she returned to the WNBL and the Adelaide Lightning and brought the incredible form. Thanks to her achievements, she was selected with the WNBL All-Star Five and the league leader in terms of goal percentage in 2014.

In 2015, Hodges traveled back to Europe and took part in a French team Bourges Basket and partly contributed to the team’s championship that first year.

However, she decided to return home once more time and became a caption of the welcoming and youthful Adelaide Lightning ahead of the 2016-2017 season.

She has proudly represented Australia for over a decade. When she was 19 years old, she played for Opals and helped the team win the bronze medal at the FIBA World Championships in 2002.

During her career, she received many achievements such as silver medals in the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, a bronze medal in the Olympic Games in 2012, a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in 2006 and bronze medals at the FIBA World Championship in 2002 and 2014.

She also helped the Opals take out a gold medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship.

Australian Famous Women Basketball Players in WNBL (Part 1)

Australia is home to many famous women basketball players, especially those coming from the Women’s National Basketball League. The followings are some of the most well-known women basketball players in Australia.

1/Abby Bishop

Abby Bishop began her career in the Women’s National Basketball League in 2005 at the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2006, she took out the Betty Watson WNBL Rookie of the Year award at the AIS.

In the next four years, Bishop played at the Canberra Capitals and won three WNBL Championships and a WNBL All-Star Five selection in 2009. She then headed to the WNBA to play for the Seattle Storm in 2010 and won the WNBA Championship.

In 2011, she returned to the WNBL to play for the Dandenong Rangers for one season and then played for the Adelaide Lightning for the 2011-2012 season.

She played for the French team Prepignan in 2012 and welcomed back to the Canberra Capitals in 2013. Abby Bishop won the league’s 2015 MVP award.

She started her international basketball career in 2007 at the FIBA U21 World Championship and the FIBA Oceania Championship. She then played in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship, and the 2011 World University Games.

In 2011, Bishop won the Maher Medal for the International Player of the Year. One year later, she played for the Opals team in the Olympic Games and won the Olympic Bronze Medal.

She has recently been signed to the Adelaide Lightning for the 2017-2018 season.

2/ Cayla George

Like Abby Bishop, the WNBL career of Cayla George began in 2005 when she played for the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2007, she received the WNBL Betty Watson Rookie of the Year award with an average of 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

In 2008, she headed to Mount Barker to play for the Eastern Mavericks in the Central Australian Basketball League and won the Halls Medal for the best and fairest player.

After two seasons in France in 2012-2014, Cayla returned to the WNBL and play for Townsville Fire, who took out the WNBL Championship in the 2014-2015 season.

She won the silver medals of the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship and the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, the gold medals of the 2011 and 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship and the bronze medal of the 2014 FIBA World Championship.

Australia to Host 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup: FIBA

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has chosen Australia as the hosting nation for the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup, which will take place in Sydney late September and early October 2022.

This will be the second time that Australia would host the Women’s Basketball World Cup, after the first time in 1994.

The FIBA said that the Basketball Australia and the Russian Basketball Federation were the finalists bidding to organize the ten-day-long event.

However, at a video conference in March, the FIBA’s Central Board made the decision after hearing the presentation of the two candidates. President of the FIBA Hamane Niang said that the Central Board hailed the excellent presentations from the two strong national federations. However, there could be only one host nation for the 2020 event. It would be Australia, he said.

The tournament will take place in two venues in Sydney Olympic Park within over ten days. It will have the participation of 144 best players in the world, from 12 teams in 38 games.

The pre-qualifying tournaments of the FIBA’s Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 will be organized in each region in November 2021. Qualified teams will join the FIBA Qualifying Tournaments in February 2022, and the final 12 countries will take the court in Sydney.

The New South Wales Government will support the Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, through major tourism and events agency such as the Destination New South Wales and the Office of Sport.

According to the FIBA, Australia is one of only four nations to win the Women’s Basketball World Cup title since the launching of the event in 1953. The Opals, one of the major basketball teams in Australia, was runner-up in the last World Cup and achieved a medal in every tournament since 1986.

Laeticia Amihere, Fran Belibi –Two Youngest Basketball Players Famous for Dunking

Basketball is popular for both men and women in the United States. Of which, Laeticia Amihere and Fran Belibi are among the youngest female players in the world. Both of them were born in 2001 and are now at the age of 19.

1/ Laeticia Amihere

Born on July 10, 2001, Laeticia Amihere is one of the youngest Canadian basketball players. At the age of 15, she became the first Canadian female player to dunk during a competition at the Boo Williams Invitational tournament in 2017.

Since the video of her dunk released, Laeticia Amihere has been famous and received the attention of former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal and Canadian hip-hop artist Drake.

Laeticia Amihere is ranked fourth among Canadian basketball players, down from her second position in the 2019 ranking. According to a report on ESPN website, she is set to become the face of Canadian women’s senior basketball program, which come the fifth place in the world.

She started playing internationally for Team Canada in 2015 after having played in many local leagues, including the ‘Nike Cup’ in July 2013. She attended ‘She’s Got Game Classic’ in December 2016 and the ‘Boo Williams Invitational’ in April 2017. In 2017, she was chosen in FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball all-star team.

2/ Fran Belibi

Born July 20, 2001, Fran Belibi is among the youngest American basketball players. She is famous for becoming the first girl to dunk during a high-school match. As soon as the video of her dunking at a game in Colorado in January 2017 publicized, she achieved the feat.

She then did the act again during another math in December 2017, affirming that her previous result was not a fluke.  

Although she started playing basketball only from September 2015, Fran Belibi is listed among the top 25 prospects in the ESPN HoopGurlz rankings.

She played three seasons at Regis Jesuit High School. When playing for the United States, Fran Belibi has helped her teams win gold medals at the ‘2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship’ as well as ‘2018 FIBA U17 World Cup’. Besides, she helped the U.S. win the ‘2018 Latvia U17 International Invitational’ title.

Famous Basketball Players in U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association

The U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has attracted the participation of many professional players. Of which, Sue Bird, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Breanna Stewart, and Seimone Augustus are the most famous women basketball players in the league to the present. 

1/ Sue Bird 

Sue Bird is one of the most decorated women basketball players in U.S. history and one of the WNBA’s greatest icons. No one in the league has played more games or has spent more minutes on the court than Sue Bird did in her career. With the participation of 16 seasons, she won 11 All-Star selections, eight All-WNBA selections, and three championships. 

She achieved an average of 12.1 points and 5.6 assists per game. She also ranked among the top ten in the WNBA for points and steals. 

2/ Breanna Stewart

Breanna Stewart has so far joined only three seasons in the WNBA. However, thanks to her achievements, she ranked among the all-time greats. After having led UConn to four national titles in four NCAA seasons, Stewart led the Seattle Storm to a WNBA title in 2018. During the season, she was also named as MPV of the league and the WNBA Finals. 

She gained an average of 20 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game each game. She currently has the eighth-best player efficiency rating in history. 

However, she missed the 2019 season due to an Achilles injury. However, she comes back in full force and can top the list someday.

3/ Nneka Ogwumike 

Nneka Ogwumike is one of the best power forwards of the current generation of the WNBA players. She has proven she can do it all. She and her team, Los Angeles Sparks, won the 2016 league MVP with an average of 20 points and 9.1 rebounds per night. 

In her eight seasons, she achieved a six-time All-Star, four-time All-WNBA pick, and five-time All-Defensive pick. 

Famous Women’s Basketball Leagues Worldwide

Women’s basketball was created in the late 1800s, along with its men’s counterpart. This sport was spread from the east coast from the United States to the west coast and most popular in America with the Women’s National Basketball Association or WNBA.

The organization was established in 1996 to hold the professional basketball league for women in the United States. The league play started in 1997. The regular WNBA season takes place from June to September. Most team names are similar to those of the National Basketball Association teams such as the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx.

At present, each continent has its famous league for women’s basketball. AfroBasket Women is the basketball continental championship of African women. The tournament serves to qualify teams for participation in the quadrennial FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and the Olympic basketball tournament.

In Asia, there are many tournaments for the women’s basketball, including the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA), the Women’s Hong Kong Basketball Association, the Indian National Basketball Championship for Women, the Women’s Japan Basketball League, the Lebanese Basketball League, the Women’s Philippine Basketball League, the Women’s Korean Basketball League (WKBL), the Women’s Super-Basketball League, and the Women’s Super-Basketball League.

Meanwhile, the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League is the dominant league of the women’s basketball in Europe. Other famous leagues of such sport are the Italian Serie A1, the Spanish Liga Femenina, and the Turkish Women’s Basketball League.

Besides, professional women’s basketball exists in Australia is the Women’s National Basketball League.

Carol Blazejowski is known as the most famous women’s basketball player in the world thanks to heir series of achievements, such as the gold medal at the World Championships 1979; the silver medal at the Pan American Games1979; and the gold medals at the World University Games 1979 and 1977.

It is followed by Tamika Catchings with gold medals at Olympics 2012, 2008, 2004, and gold medals at the World Championships 2010, 2002, and Cynthia Cooper with gold medals at Olympics 1988, the World Championships 1990, 1986; Pan American Games 1987; and Goodwill Games 1986.