Although still lacking the exposure and recognition of the men’s side, women’s basketball in Europe has experienced remarkable growth and development, thanks in part to the efforts of the FIBA Europe, the governing body for basketball on the continent. I will delve into the world of women’s basketball and explore the three main active club competitions organized by FIBA Europe: the EuroLeague, the EuroCup Women, and the FIBA Europe Super Cup.
The EuroLeague Women stands as the pinnacle of European women’s club basketball with 24 teams competing. This prestigious competition brings together top teams from various domestic leagues across Europe. The tournament’s structure includes a regular season, followed by playoffs leading to the crowning of the EuroLeague Women champion.
The EuroCup Women serves as a second-tier competition in European women’s club basketball, offering an opportunity for teams to compete at a continental level with 26 teams. Participating clubs include those from domestic leagues across Europe that may not have qualified for the EuroLeague Women.
FIBA Europe Super Cup:
The FIBA Europe Super Cup is an annual event that brings together the champions of the EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women. It serves as a thrilling encounter between the top teams from both competitions, highlighting the best of European women’s club basketball.
Just as with men’s leagues, each European country has their own domestic leagues which usually have sub-divisions of the first league. France, Poland, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Israel and Greece count as the stronger leagues that pay the most in the women’s game. Many WNBA players go to these countries because the top players make more money there compared to what they earn in the WNBA. Domestic leagues often serve as talent pipelines for players aspiring to reach higher levels of European basketball. Domestic leagues’ level of competition can vary depending on the country and league.
Each country has its own domestic Cup competition. These Cup tournaments take place alongside the regular season and offer an exciting do-or-die format for teams to compete for the title. The domestic Cups provide an intense atmosphere for players and fans alike. This unique aspect of European basketball adds an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the season.
These competitions raise the level of play, attract top talent, and create a sense of prestige and recognition for the clubs involved. The increased exposure and competitive environment benefit both players and the growth of women’s basketball within their respective countries.