Home » Best of 2012: Mali history, 13 year old Park, USA still perfect at U17 Worlds second edition

Best of 2012: Mali history, 13 year old Park, USA still perfect at U17 Worlds second edition

Best of 2012: Mali history, 13 year old Park, USA still perfect at U17 Worlds second edition

MIES (Switzerland) – Following on from a successful first-ever edition two years earlier, the FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup landed in Amsterdam in 2012 and there was lots to love. 

Here’s our review of what went down in the Netherlands and you can also check out our wrap of the 2010 edition here.

Top of the podium (and still unbeaten): USA 

During the first edition of the tournament in 2010, the reigning champions USA achieved a perfect record of 8-0. They continued their outstanding performance in Amsterdam, winning all their matches and maintaining a flawless record of 16 consecutive victories. Similar to their dominance in France, the USA team showcased their power throughout the tournament. However, they faced a tough challenge in the Final against Spain, requiring a great deal of effort to secure a 75-62 victory and claim the championship once again.

USA dominated Spain on the boards, grabbing a remarkable 59 rebounds. Rebecca Greenwell contributed significantly with a double-double, scoring 13 points and securing 12 rebounds. Diamond DeShields had an impressive tournament, adding 13 points to the team’s score. Lindsay Allen orchestrated the plays with finesse, providing 6 assists and claiming the top spot on the assist chart for the competition.

Meet the MVP: Diamond DeShields (USA)

From left to right : Linnae Harper, Leticia Romera, Diamond DeShields, Yunika Nakumura and Evelyn Mawuli

Diamond DeShields played a pivotal role for the champions and received the MVP award. She averaged 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Despite being three years younger than some of her teammates, she won the gold medal, adding to her previous victory at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup. Another remarkable player on the team was Linnae Harper, who demonstrated incredible defense with an average of 7.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.1 steals, and 2.4 assists per game. Both DeShields and Harper were selected for the All-Star Five representing the USA.

Leticia Romero was rewarded for propelling Spain to a silver medal (13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game).  Japan missed out on the podium having made the Semi-Finals. Still, their exciting style and brand of basketball won plenty of fans and it saw their two top performers Evelyn Mawuli ( 9.4 points, 9.5 rebounds per game) and Yunika Nakumura (17.8 points, 6.5 rebounds per game) taking places in the prestigious lineup.

The history makers: Mali take first win for Africa

In addition to USA keeping their crown, the other big headline in Amsterdam was undoubtedly a first-ever win for Africa in the competition. With Mali having gone winless in 2010, they got off the mark with a landmark first victory for themselves and for their continent, They beat Brazil 58-51, with Mariam Maiga the hero as she netted a memorable 18 points.

Five star entertainment: Canada vs Netherlands

The Quarter-Finals game between Canada and Netherlands was truly remarkable, despite the low score of 56-55. The match was filled with absolute drama and intense moments. Unfortunately, the hosts, Netherlands, experienced heartbreak as Canada managed to secure the victory. Kia Nurse played a crucial role, scoring an impressive 18 points. In the following years, Nurse cemented her position as a leader and star within Canada’s senior national team, contributing to their bronze medal success.

On absolute fire:  Hind Ben Abdelkader (Belgium)

Take your pick. Never has a player been so dominant scoring-wise across multiple games at youth events. Belgian talent Ben Abdelkader was a walking bucket and still is to this day. She was the tournament’s top scorer with 19.4 points per game and incredibly. accrued four of the top eight individual points tallies in the competition. She twice scored 29 points, with perhaps the most potent being an 8 of 11 shooting effort against Korea.

The hidden star: Saori Miyazaki (Japan)


The guard was part of a Japan team that reached the Semi-Finals but just fell short of the podium. Miyazaki was not always a leading player for her side, only 5th in minutes per game (24 minutes per game) and 5th in points scored (7.4 points per game). However, she still managed to lead Japan in assists and that was a sign that she was something of a hidden gem.

Fast forward almost a decade to 2021 and Myazaki appeared at Tokyo 2020 to help her country take that historic silver medal, also being the most efficient baller and second top scorer at the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 when Japan won the title.

The 13 year-old phenomenon: Jisu Park – Korea


Three (and in some cases almost four) years younger than most players at the event, this was the first of many footsteps for the Korean phenomenon. She almost logged a debut tournament double-double (9.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game) and as she would prove in later years, she’s a shot-blocking machine, leading the competition with a massive 27 swats.

Meanwhile to truly put into context what an incredible young baller she was, just two years after appearing in Amsterdam, she was the leader for the Korea senior team at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2014 – aged just 15-years-old. 

The best story: NBA All-Star star watches daughter, Kaela Davis (USA)

Former NBA baller and 2001 All-Star Antonio Davis was present in Amsterdam to proudly watch his daughter Kaela win gold for USA (8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds per game). Her dad played for a host of NBA clubs including the Pacers, Raptors, Bulls and Magic and he went on to watch Kaela play in the WNBA and most notably, win the EuroCup Women title in 2018 with Galatasaray.

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