Olympic Games

Women's Basketball at Tokyo Olympics: Every team's roster, notable WNBA players, groups, schedule and history

Basketball, as a medal sport, has been part of the Olympics since 1936 but the women's category only debuted in 1976.

Leading into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which was postponed to 2021 (Jul. 25 - Aug. 7) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States of America has dominated the gold medal tally in both the men's and women's categories.

In the men's, Team USA has won 15 of a possible 19 gold medals and will be gunning to bag their fourth consecutive gold in Tokyo. On the other hand, Team USA has won eight of a possible 11 since 1976 in the women's category and will be looking to win their seventh in a row.

MORE: Previewing Men's Basketball at Tokyo Olympics

How will things pan out in Tokyo?

Competition Format

The 12 teams are divided into three groups of four. After the group phase, the top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams qualify for the Quarterfinals.

Below, find an in-depth look at the history, form, roster, groups and schedule of every one of the 12 participating teams.

Preview: Japan | Australia | Belgium | Canada | China | France | Korea | Nigeria | Puerto Rico | Serbia | Spain | Team USA

Japan (host)

Form and history

The Japanese women's basketball teams are quite the force globally, especially in Asia. Ranked 10th on FIBA's global women's rankings, the women's basketball team from Japan are four-time reigning Asia Cup Champions (2013, 15, 17, 19).

This marks their fifth appearance at the Olympics - 2016, 2004, 1996, 1976 - with their best result of 5th coming in the inaugural games.

Roster

Himawari Akaho, Saki Hayashi, Rui Machida, Evelyn Mawuli, Saori Miyazaki, Yuki Miyazawa, Naho Miyoshi, Nako Motohashi, Moeko Nagaoka, Monica Okoye, Maki Takada, Nanaka Todo.

With Ramu Tokashiki injured, there are no WNBA players on the roster. Tokashiki, a 6-foot-4 forward, played a couple of years in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm from 2015 to 2017.

Group and schedule

Qualifying as the hosts, coming off a ninth-place finish in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, Japan is slotted in Group B alongside some tough teams in Team USA (Rank 1), France (Rank 5) and Nigeria (Rank 17, first seed and only team from Africa) in Group B

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 France
Friday Jul. 30 USA
Monday Aug. 2 Nigeria

Australia

Form and history

The Opals, ranked No. 2 in the world, have been regulars at the Olympics having qualified to all but three editions (1976, 1980, 1992). They have won five medals at the Olympics - three Silver (2000, 2004, 2008) and two Bronze (1996, 2012).

Finishing as runners-up in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, they qualified for the Olympics by finishing second in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Bourges.

In their lone exhibition game ahead of the Olympics, they defeated Team USA 70-67 in Las Vegas.

Roster & WNBA players

Bec Allen, Sara Blicavs, Katie Ebzery, Cayla George, Tess Lavey, Ezi Magbegor, Tess Magden, Leilani Mitchell, Jenna O'Hea, Alanna Smith, Stephanie Talbot, Marianna Tolo.

Even with the withdrawal of Liz Cambage from the squad, there are still plenty of players on the squad that are currently playing in the WNBA - Allen (New York Liberty), Magbegor (Seattle Storm), Mitchell (Washington Mystics), Smith (Phoenix Mercury), and Talbot (Seattle Storm).

Group and schedule

The Opals are slotted in Group C alongside two other Top 10 ranked nations in Belgium (Rank 6) and China (Rank 9) with the other team being Puerto Rico.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 Belgium
Friday Jul. 30 China
Monday Aug. 2 Puerto Rico

Belgium

Form and history

A rising nation in women's basketball?

Coming off a fourth-place finish at the FIBA Women's World Cup in 2018 and two bronze medals in two most recent Euro Baskets (2017, 2021), the Belgian women's squad qualified for its first-ever Summer Olympics after finishing second in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Ostend.

Roster

Julie Allemand, Marjorie Carpreaux, Antonia Delaere, Kyara Linskens, Billie Massey, Emma Meesseman, Hanne Mestdagh, Kim Mestdagh, Heleen Nauwelaers, Jana Raman, Julie Vanloo, Ann Wauters.

Allemand (Indiana Fever), Meesseman and Mestdagh are the three recent WNBA players on the roster. The latter two were part of the Mystics championship squad in 2019 with Meesseman winning the Finals MVP.

Group and schedule

The Belgian Cats are slotted in Group C alongside Puerto Rico and some top Asian teams in Australia and China.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 Australia
Friday Jul. 30 Puerto Rico
Monday Aug. 2 China

Canada

Form and history

Currently ranked No. 4, Canada is another one of the regulars at the Olympics having only missed five editions (1980, 1988, 1992, 2004, 2008) with their best finish coming in 1984 - 4th.

Coming off a seventh-place finish in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, the Canadian team qualifies for the Olympics by topping the table in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Ostend.

Roster & WNBA players

Natalie Achonwa, Kayla Alexander, Laeticia Amihere, Miranda Ayim, Bridget Carleton, Shay Colley, Aaliyah Edwards, Nirra Fields, Kim Gaucher, Kia Nurse, Shaina Pellington, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe

The roster includes three current WNBA players in Nurse (Phoenix Mercury), Achonwa (Minnesota Lynx) and Bridget Carleton (Minnesota Lynx). There are also former WNBA players on the roster in Alexander (4 WNBA franchises in eight years since 2013), Ayim (Tulsa Shock in 2011) and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (New York Liberty - 2017, 2019).

Group and Schedule

Three of the top 10 ranked teams are slotted together in Group A.

Day Date Opponent
Monday Jul. 26 Serbia
Thursday Jul. 29 Korea
Sunday Aug. 1 Spain

China

Form and History

China, another 'regular' in the Olympics, will be making its ninth appearance in the Olympics having missed just three times (1976, 1980, 2000). Their best finishes came in Barcelona during the 1992 Olympics whether they finished with a Silver, improving on their Bronze from the 1984 Olympics.

Coming off a sixth-place finish in the 2018 FIBA World Cup, they qualified for these 2020 Tokyo Olympics by finishing at the top of the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group B).

Roster and WNBA players

Xu Han, Sijing Huang, Meng Li, Yueru Li, Yuan Lu, Zhenqi Pan, Ting Shao, Mengran Sun, Siyu Wang, Tongtong Wu, Liwei Yang, Ru Zhang

Xu Han is a 21-year-old Center, who last played for the New York Liberty in the WNBA in 2019, her rookie year in the league.

Group and Schedule

China is slotted in Group C alongside Puerto Rico and other top-ranked teams in Australia and Belgium.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 Puerto Rico
Friday Jul. 30 Australia
Monday Aug. 2 Belgium

France

Form and History

The 2020 Olympics will be the French women's team's fourth appearance with their best performance coming in London in 2012 when they bagged the Silver Medal.

Coming off a fifth-place finish at the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, they qualified for the Tokyo by finishing at the top of the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Bourges.

Roster and WNBA players

Alexia Chartereau, Helena Ciak, Alix Duchet, Marine Fauthoux, Sandrine Gruda, Marine Johannes, Sarah Michel, Endy Miyem, Iliana Rupert, Diandra Tchatchouang, Valeriane Vukusavljevic, Gabby Williams

Johannes represented the New York Liberty over two seasons in 2019 and 2020.

Group and Schedule

France, ranked 5th in the world are slotted alongside the host Japan, Nigeria (the only nation from Africa) and top-ranked Team USA.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 Japan
Friday Jul. 30 Nigeria
Monday Aug. 2 USA

Korea

Form and History

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics mark Korea's seventh appearance and first since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Their best result came in Los Angeles - the 1984 Olympics - where they won the silver medal.

Finishing 14th of the 16 teams in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, they qualified for the Olympics by finishing third in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group B).

Roster

Hyojin Ahn, Hyeyoon Bae, Leeseul Kang, Danbi Kim, Han Byul Kim, Jung Eun Kim, Minjeong Kim, Hyejin Park, Jihyun Park, Ji Su Park, Jihyun Shin, Yebin Yoon

No WNBA players

Group and Schedule

Korea, ranked 19th in the world, is slotted alongside three teams ranked in the Top 10 of the FIBA rankings in Spain (No. 3), Canada (No. 4) and Serbia (No. 8).

Day Date Opponent
Monday Jul. 26 Spain
Thursday Jul. 29 Canada
Sunday Aug. 1 Serbia

Nigeria

Form and History

This is just the second Olympic appearance for Nigeria, after its first appearance, which came in 2004. The only African nation in both the men and women's category, they are coming off an eighth-place finish in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup.

Nigeria qualified for Tokyo by finishing third in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group A).

Roster and WNBA players

Not yet announced.

Group and Schedule

Nigeria, ranked No. 15 in the world, is slotted in Group B alongside nations that are ranked in the top 10 of the FIBA Women's rankings.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 USA
Friday Jul. 30 France
Monday Aug. 2 Japan

Puerto Rico

Form and History

A rising nation in the Americas? This is the first Olympic appearance for Puerto Rico, coming off of its first appearance in the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup.

Roster

Jacqueline Benitez, Allison Gibson, Michelle Gonzalez, Jazmon Gwathmey, Isalys Quinones, Sabrina Lozada, Tayra Melendez, Jennifer O'Neill, India Pagan, Pamela Rosado, Dayshalee Salaman, Jada Stinson

No WNBA players, although they would be missing Arella Guirantes - a player on the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

Group and Schedule

Puerto Rico is slotted in Group C alongside top-ranked countries in China, Belgium and Australia.

Day Date Opponents
Tuesday Jul. 27 China
Friday Jul. 30 Belgium
Monday Aug. 2 Australia

Serbia

Form and History

This is just Serbia's second appearance at the Olympics, coming off a bronze medal finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Having not qualified for the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, Serbia is coming off winning the 2021 EuroBasket earlier in June.

They qualified for Tokyo by finishing second in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group A).

Roster

Not yet confirmed

Group and Schedule

Serbia is slotted alongside Korea and top-ranked nations in Spain and Canada.

Day Date Opponent
Monday Jul. 26 Canada
Thursday Jul. 29 Spain
Sunday Aug. 1 Korea

Spain

Form and History

The Tokyo Olympics will be Spain's fifth appearance, coming off its best result of Silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Winning the bronze at the 2018 FIBA Women's World Cup, they qualified for Tokyo by finishing second in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group B).

Roster and WNBA players

Tamara Abalde, Raquel Carrera, Queralt Casas, Maite Cazorla, Maria Conde, Silvia Dominguez, Laura Gil, Astou Ndour, Laia Palau, Cristina Ouvina, Leo Rodriguez, Alba Torrens.

The roster includes two WNBA players - Astou Ndour is the current one as she suits up for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA while Maite Cazorla suited up for Atlanta Dream in 2019

Group and Schedule

Spain is slotted alongside Korea, and two nations ranked in the top 10 in Serbia and Canada.

Day Date Opponent
Monday Jul. 26 Korea
Thursday Jul. 29 Serbia
Sunday Aug. 1 Canada

Team USA

Form and History

Team USA has a dominant history at the Olympics, having won eight of the 11 editions, including the previous six. They participated in the 2020 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Belgrade (Group A) but had already qualified as the champions of the 2018 FIBA World Cup.

Roster and WNBA players

Ariel Atkins, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Napheesa Collier, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Sylvia Fowles, Chelsea Gray, Brittney Griner, Jewell Loyd, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, A'ja Wilson

How many WNBA players? All 12.

Group and Schedule

Team USA is slotted against the hosts, Nigeria and fifth-ranked France.

Day Date Opponent
Tuesday Jul. 27 Nigeria
Friday Jul. 30 Japan
Monday Aug. 2 France

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