International youth basketball
2009 - 2013

Spain U20 -2012 European Champions

When FIBA decided to change the international youth basketball programme with the introduction of the U17 World Championship in 2010, it meant a new competition for the 1993 generation.

From the 16 teams that participated in the 2009 U16 European Championship for Women Division A, just three teams are missing from the 2013 U20 European Championship for Women Division A.

Belgium, silver medallists from 2009 and 8th place Czech Republic are playing in Division B, while Finland do not have a U20 programme for women.

Maryia Papova

From the 1993 generation of players from the 2009 U16 Championship Francesca Dotto and Alessandra Formica from Italy played at  EuroBasket Women 2013. Also 1994 born Maryia Papova (in picture) was present playing for Belarus.

Artemis Spanou from Greece led her country to victory in the EuroBasket Women 2015 qualification round final while Emma Meesseman from Belgium is playing in the WNBA.

In 2009 France finished 3rd after beating Russia in the bronze medal match (75-46). However the match of the tournament and probably the best international youth basketball U16 match at a major tournament was the quarter-final when France were taken to a 4th overtime to beat Turkey.

Özge Kavurmacioglu played the full 60 minutes for Turkey and top scored with 29 points. But it was Margaux Galliou-Loko from France who entered into youth basketball folklore with the game winning three-pointer.

It is possible that France and Turkey might face each other during the qualification round (second phase) of the 2013 competition.

Who to watch in Samsun?

Turkey U20 players in 2012

The hosts of the U20 European championship for Women Division A have never won the title, a fact that Turkish head coach Aziz Akkaya is aware off.

Despite his team's good results in their preparation games, he said that his satisfaction would only come hopefully at the end of the tournament.

Turkey have a very experienced roster and for sure should be one of the most exciting teams in the tournament. The absence of Belgium opens up the competition and Spain are definitely one of the favourites.

The Netherlands and Sweden have invested a lot in their youth programmes over the last few years and their teams always excite and should never be written off.

France and Russia have not had the ideal preparation. Yet with rosters that contain the most professional players nothing less than a top 8 finish is viewed as a failure.

Artemis Spanou

If Artemis Spanou plays for Greece then she is very likely to be one of the players of the tournament. Greece last played in the elite division in 2008. Greece play in Group B with Poland, Slovak Republic and Spain.

In Group A, Maryia Papova from Belarus is the player who may draw most of the attention. The other teams in the group are the Netherlands, Serbia and Ukraine.

France are in Group C with Italy, Hungary and Russia. While this competition sees the return of Esther Moisan Niamke from France, it is likely that the Dotto twins (Caterina and Francesca ) and Alessandra Formica from Italy are going to take centre stage.

Turkey, playing in Group D, are the attraction of the tournament and the pressure will be on Ayse Cora, Olcay Cakir, Merve Aydinn and Özge Kavurmacioglu. The other teams in the group are Germany, Lithuania and Sweden.

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Date created: 02 July 2013

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