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USA legend Sue Bird named Global Ambassador for FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2026

As the most decorated FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup player ever, the iconic Sue Bird will now use her star power as the Global Ambassador for the 2026 edition in Germany.

The USA legend is the only player to have won the women’s flagship event four times after accomplishing the feat by stepping out to land gold in 2002 in China, 2010 in the Czech Republic, 2014 in Turkey and 2018 in Spain. Bird also has five Olympic titles and was the flag bearer for her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Delighted to be able to take on the new position, which was recognized in a special ceremony today in Manila, Philippines at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, Bird stated: “I feel honored to be sitting here today. Women’s basketball is at a really exciting moment and there is no better way to continue this momentum for me now than as a Global Ambassador for the 2026 World Cup.

“Over the next two years, with the lead-up to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Berlin, we are going to get to see a lot of basketball and growth for the women’s game. And with the expanded field for 2026, there will be a lot more opportunities for players and national teams to dream and be ambitious and for fans to follow the journeys of their favorite players and teams.”

Bird succeeds another iconic figure in the shape of Pau Gasol, who fulfilled the ambassadorial role at Sydney in 2022, a competition that was widely heralded as the best FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in history. The 2022 event had 1.1 billion impressions and 14 million engagements across global social platforms, with 145,000 spectators, which was the highest attendance ever at the competition.

USA’s Sue Bird is the is the only player to have won the women’s flagship event four times (Photo by FIBA)

Gasol gave a shining endorsement to Sue Bird and commented: “I have always enjoyed watching the women’s game and it is something I feel very strongly about. Seeing the growth of the game, the differences and the progress made, with Kobe and Gigi as an inspiration, this is something that is very close to my heart, and it’s important for me to continue to follow this path.”

Meanwhile, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis backed Bird to be a big success in the role. He stated: “Sue Bird is one of the first names anyone would mention when a discussion takes place about the greatest players in our sport, certainly, when it comes to the unprecedented success she has had at various FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cups and Olympic Games in her incredible career.

“She gave the fans such great memories with her contributions when she was on the court and having a legendary player who knows what it takes to promote our next FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Germany is fantastic. Sue will inspire so many people in this position and we can’t wait for her to make an impact.”

The next FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will take place during September 2026 in Berlin and will be played at two premium venues, namely Arena Berlin and Max-Schmeling Halle. The former was used for the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Final.

This will be the second time that Germany will host the women’s flagship tournament, having previously done so in 1998.

The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2026 will be played with an expanded field of 16 teams.

Credit: AIPS Media

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