August 26, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Aug. 26, 2022: Building the 2022 FIBA World Cup

Plus: Becky Hammon wins Coach of the Year

Happy Friday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing featuring the NCAA Roundup. Though we await day seven of the WNBA post-season, which will resume on Sunday, the women’s basketball world keeps moving. Beyond the WNBA, teams are beginning to come together for the 2022 FIBA World Cup, which will begin on Sept. 22 in Sydney, Australia. Team USA will enter as three-time defending champions.

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After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIBA ruled that Russia would no longer be permitted to field teams at its competitions. Teams from Belarus were also forbidden from participating. Nigeria withdrew its team on June 2, after instability within the Nigerian Basketball Federation caused the Nigerian government to ban its teams from participating in international competition for a two-year period. While the ban has since been reversed, the women’s national team will not be able to participate in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Puerto Rico has since replaced Russia and Mali has replaced Nigeria.

The draw ceremony to determine the two divisions for the FIBA World Cup took place on March 3, splitting the 12 qualified teams into two groups. After five preliminary matches, the top four teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinal round.

Initial rosters have so far been announced for Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, France, Korea, Puerto Rico, Serbia and the USA. Final rosters must be confirmed by Sept. 21. Should the WNBA finals extend to a five-game series, this could mean players will have just two days to travel to Sydney before Cup matches begin.

Team Active WNBA Players
Australia Ezi Magbegor, Stephanie Talbot
Bosnia and Herzegovina Jonquel Jones
France Iliana Rupert, Gabby Williams
USA Kahleah Copper, Chelsea Gray, Dearica Hamby, Brionna Jones, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum, Breanna Stewart, Alyssa Thomas, Courtney Williams, A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young
Still waiting on rosters from… Belgium, China, Japan, Mali

Then, earlier this afternoon, the Aces’ Becky Hammon was named the 2022 Coach of the Year. Hammon received 27 votes to finish first, followed by the Dream’s Tanisha Wright (18 votes) and the Sky’s James Wade (eight votes). The Wings’ Vickie Johnson, the Mercury’s Vanessa Nygaard and the Mystics’ Mike Thibault rounded out the voting with one vote each. The Next‘s Matthew Walter has more on Hammon’s accomplishment, while Em Adler fills you in on how our staff voted for the award.

In other news, former Fordham women’s basketball head coach Stephanie Gaitley has found yet another second chance. Gaitley, who was previously fired from Saint Joseph’s in 2001 and left Fordham in June of this year, was named head coach of the Ocean City High School (OCHS) girls basketball team, where she attended from 1974–78. Former OCHS head coach Michael Cappelletti was fired after allegations surfaced that he had bullied and mistreated players. While at Saint Joseph’s, Gaitley was accused of retaliating against a player that reported Gaitley’s husband Frank sexually harassed her. Reasons for her departure from Fordham have were not disclosed in the school’s June 30 press release.

Finally, on Thursday, Houston announced lifelong community member and women’s basketball Director of Operations Kaila Chizer had passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday. Chizer was a graduate of the University in 2018 and 2020, and a former player and graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team. Chizer was just 26 years old.

“It’s awful, awful news to lose one of our children and somebody who has grown up here and means so much to us,” said Houston Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman. “To lose someone so suddenly and so young is heartbreaking.”

But first, read:

  • Our James Kay takes you through the last 48 hours in Chicago Sky basketball, from Game 3 in New York, to extending head coach James Wade’s contract and much more!
  • Our Eric Rynston-Lobel highlights the All-Rookie team and Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard.
  • For Forbes Sports, our Howard Megdal details how increased coverage of women’s sports helps the television networks just now agreeing to broadcast them.
  • ESPN’s Katie Barnes re-introduces you to Kelsey Plum, from bark to bite.
  • Togethxr and Uninterrupted released a 23-minute documentary on the Atlanta Dream’s AD, Never Knocked Down: The AD Story. The documentary is available in full on YouTube.

NCAA Roundup:

Roster updates:

  • Inês Bettencourt: The point guard from the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Portugal committed to UConn. She most recently played for the U18 national team at the FIBA European Championship, where she was named an All-Star and led the team to the finals. (A note from Isabel: For those keen on their Portuguese basketball history, Bettencourt plans to wear jersey number 21, the same number worn by prolific point guard and fellow Portuguese basketball star Ticha Penicheiro.)
  • Jada Boyd: The combo forward previously announced plans to step away from the NC State program, but is now expected to return for her senior year. 

Staff updates:

  • Tennessee: Announced the hiring of Heather Ervin to direct student-athlete external relations (read: NIL coordinator.)

End-of-Season Awards Calendar

  • Aug. 29  Most Improved Player
  • Sep. 1    Sixth Player of the Year
  • Sep. 2    Defensive Player of the Year; All-Defensive First, Second Team
  • Sep. 7    Most Valuable Player
  • Sep. 15  All-WNBA First, Second Team

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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