The 2012 FIBA U20
Championship for Women
in Debrecen is open

Marie Mbuyamba Jodie Cornelie Claire Stievenard

With FIBA Europe already publishing a tournament preview, we took the opportunity to speak with coaches and players about their preparation and thoughts on the tournament.

The common theme from nearly everybody we spoke to was that the preparation was not ideal and that they have limited information about their opponents. However they were sure that the championship would be very tough.

The main reason for the anxiety amongst the coaches was the lateness of the competition this year. Some teams had not been sure about their final roster until they arrived in Debrecen.

The opening was not a ceremony in the traditional sense as the teams did not line up and parade. Instead there was a buffet dinner with a few speeches and a short performance from a local folks dance group.

We captured the atmosphere of the opening by putting together a collection in the video gallery below. (If you are interested in having any of the pictures please use our contact page.)

We had the opportunity to speak with French player Héléna Akmouche who happens to be the last surviving member of the Wattignies connection still playing youth international basketball.

Clémence Beikes who just won silver medal at the Olympic games had been one of the pioneers of the Wattignes connection.

Akmouche who has a U16 European championship medal is more interested in the basketball of Portugal and Great Britain because she has never played them. She explained that the preparation was not easy but she is looking forward to her final youth competition.

We also used the opportunity to catch up with Farhiya Abdi from Sweden. She was the MVP during the U16 European Championship for Women in 2008.

She explained that their preparation had been a little hectic with players coming and going. But she hopes that they will win some games. She said the situation was different from last year when they had been in Division B and had to win.

Abdi is a full time professional player. She moved to the Czech Republic last year on a two-year deal. She said she learned a lot playing alongside Delisha Milton-Jones. Next summer she will be going to LA Sparks in the WNBA (yet we did not speak about Sweden's EuroBasket Women qualification).

The U20 Championship will be tough as a lot more players have been involved in EuuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women than in previous years.

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FIBA Europe picture credits:
Date created: 15 August 2012

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Debrecen U20 Logo


Opening Ceremony picture gallery

Final Round

29 August 2012 Latvia: Bridina Krista's reflections

26 August 2012 U20 European Championship title goes to Spain

26 August 2012 France take fifth place

25 August 2012 France will face Sweden for fifth place

25 August 2012 Spain to meet Russia in the final again

24 August 2012 Russia and Turkey qualify for semi-final

24 August 2012 The Netherlands on history course

24 August 2012 Spain eliminate France (55-53)

Qualifying Round

24 August 2012 Erin Mc Garrachan, GB U20 captain fighting for a win

23 August 2012 Eugénio Rodrigues from Portugal is proud of his team

22 August 2012 Second round comes to an end

22 August 2012 France eliminate the Slovak Republic

21 August 2012 Turkey, only team with perfect record - Portugal win

21 August 2012 France gave Serbia no chance

21 August 2012 Spain and Turkey remain perfect on day 4

20 August 2012 Third defeat in a row for France

20 August 2012 Slovak Republic beat Ukraine the hard way

Preliminary Round

18 August 2012 First phase comes to a dramatic end

18 August 2012 Turkey beat France for Group win

18 August 2012 The Slovak Republic send Great Britain into the relegation round

17 August 2012 Injuries and illness still the focus on day 2

17 August 2012 France lost against Ukraine

17 August 2012 Latvia defeat Belarus

16 August 2012 The show goes on despite players falling ill

16 August 2012 Turkey open with a comfortable victory against Ukraine

16 August 2012 France made to work hard against Portugal

Other News

15 August 2012 Coaches and players cannot wait to start

13 August 2012 French U20 roster for European Championship