2024 FIBA Women’s U18 AmeriCup Preview

The U18 AmeriCup’s first trip to Colombia (Bucaramanga) will again have all eyes on the United States. The Americans have utterly dominated the event taking 11 of the event’s 13 titles, including the last 10, and feature another deep group to challenge for the championship.

Group A:

Group B:


United States: The heavy favorites for the title have amassed a roster with little prior international experience, but plenty of talent to get the job done. Led by Joyce Edwards, the South Carolina signee is the only player to have previously completed in FIBA competition and led Team USA in scoring and efficiency at the U19 World Cup in 2023. Despite this, the USA are one of the few countries in global competition with the luxury of cycling through their talent pool without diminishing returns. This year’s group remains very tall and long and can expect to hold advantages over their opponents notably in the frontcourt and along the wings. The trio of Arianna Roberson (Duke signee), Leah Macy (Notre Dame commit) and Sienna Betts (UCLA commit) are among the most efficient frontcourt scoring threats in the game to have not yet entered the collegiate ranks. Sarah Strong (UConn signee) is likely to be the team’s most prominent perimeter threat, but the backcourt of Jazzy Davidson, Jordan Lee (Texas signee), Zakiyah Johnson and USC signees Kayleigh Heckel and Kennedy Smith features a lot of speed and physicality to really open-up games. Expect this team to defend at a very high level and play a lot in transition.

Canada: A 5-point loss to the USA in 2022 kept the Canadians from their first U18 AmeriCup tournament win in the event’s history. Villanova signee Jasmine Bascoe was a vital part of that team contributing 7.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 3.5 APG and is the only player with international experience on this year’s roster. Her presence with be a massive steadying force, but the addition of one of the biggest risers in the 2025 class in Taliyah Henderson again presents Canada with a high-floor and added upside to chase gold. Henderson has continued to develop into a dynamic frontcourt option, disciplined defender and persistent rebounding threat. Henderson’s likely frontcourt mate Nyadieng Yiech similarly scores readily off the dribble and the pair will force heavy defensive rotations throughout the tournament. The benefactors are the backcourt trio of Chante Murray, Olivia Leung (Dayton signee) and Kamora Morgan (Northern Kentucky signee) who will have ample opportunities to space the floor and attack the rim against compromised defensive positions.

Brazil: The only other nation to secure gold, 1992 and 1996, the Selecao return to AmeriCup competition with a formidable roster. Other than the USA, Brazil features arguably the most dangerous frontcourt group in the entire field. Playing for national runner-up IMG Academy, Heloisa Carrera (Ole Miss signee) brings a soft mid-range shooting touch and interior feel for avoiding shot blockers in the paint. Alongside her will be Manuella Alves and Sther Ubaka, both of which feature multiple years of international competition. Alves has improved her production in every tournament going back to 2021, while Ubaka has finished north of double-double production in all but the U19 World Cup last Summer. The trio have played together before on multiple occasions and know how to push Brazil forward in this year’s tournament. A welcome addition to the roster is 2025 5-star Ayla McDowell who will provide a lot of scoring production from the backcourt. McDowell has proven herself as a smooth scoring threat inside the perimeter arc, but has a highly adaptable game. Micaela Cavalcanti is likely to get the starting nod at PG for Brazil and has averaged 11.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 4.4 APG in her 2 year’s of competition. The collective talent suiting up this year give the Selecao a great shot at securing another medal at minimum and an outside shot at gold.

Other Players to Watch:

Adriana Robles, Puerto Rico: Robles comes to the tournament with multiple years of international experience. The point guard out of Fossil Ridge (TX) has proven herself to be a reliable force at the helm of her team’s offense and a rising stock on the recruiting trail. Robles has been instrumental as a heady facilitator capable of changing levels in order to deliver accurate passes around defenders. Her pick-and-roll usage has opened the floor for a strong floater arsenal and efficient scoring at the elbow/mid-paint areas highlights the recognition and patience to counter defensive closeouts along the perimeter.

Meredith Venner, Colombia: Venner is very familiar with the rims in Bucaramanga, having put up 19.3 PPG, 16.0 RPG, 2.5 SPG and 2.3 BPG in the U17 South American Championships only 6 months ago. The Colombians will go as she does and likely being their tallest player will be relied upon heavily to enforce her physical style to secure valuable possessions. Venner was instrumental in defeating Argentina and competing with Brazil, against nearly identical rosters expected for this event, on Colombia’s way to a silver medal. Under Venner’s leadership, the home team could spring a surprise and reach the semi-finals or better.

Milagros Morell, Argentina: Morell is Argentina’s best interior prospect on this year’s roster and her double-double production in last year’s U16 Americas Championship backs that up. The Americans and Canadians were able to take her off her game in that competition, but the potential path to a medal features limited exposure to these teams. Outside of their opening game in group play against Canada, Argentina escapes these powers until a potential semi-final against projected group A 1-seed Canada. If Morell’s development has continued to elevate, and Argentina can find a weakness against Canada, they can absolutely enter the rematch with confidence towards a medal bid.

Medal Projections:




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