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Arizona freshman Breya Cunningham dominating on the boards, defense at FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup

Checking in with Breya Cunningham on the first rest day in Madrid

2023 Nike Hoop Summit
Arizona freshman Breya Cunningham (15) playing for Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit on April 8, 2023.
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Arizona freshman Breya Cunningham was a last-minute addition to the U.S. U19 team for the 2023 FIBA Women’s World Cup. She also isn’t getting as much time on the floor as most of the team. Yet, the Wildcat is showing that she’s a dominant true center, coming in second on the team in rebounding despite playing over five fewer minutes than rebounding leader Chloe Kitts.

On the first day of the tournament, Cunningham had 7 points, 12 rebounds, one steal, and two blocks in just 13 minutes on the floor. She shot 50 percent from the floor as her team defeated Mali 85-66.

On day two, Cunningham got a little bit more time, playing 16 minutes. She wasn’t as effective, though. She had two points on 1-of-5 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. She chipped in two assists and a block but also had two fouls. The team defeated Germany 100-46.

She has averaged 4.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1 assist, 0.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 14.8 minutes per game over two games. She is one of only two players on the team to have zero turnovers so far in the tournament, matching high school senior Allie Ziebell. Cunningham’s blocks per game lead the team. The only other player averaging over 0.5 BPG is UCLA sophomore guard Kiki Rice.

Cunningham’s rebounds are second on the team, trailing Kitts by just one rebound per contest despite playing 5.2 MPG less. Only two players average fewer minutes per game than Cunningham.

The teams have a rest day on Monday, July 17, but they will be back on the floor on Tuesday, July 18. Team USA faces Chinese Taipei at 9:15 a.m. MST to wrap up group play. The game can be viewed for free on YouTube or Courtside 1891.

The knockout stages start on Wednesday, July 19 before another day of rest on Thursday. Friday, July 21 is the beginning of the quarterfinals and classification games. Classification games continue on July 22 along with the semifinals. The final, the third-place game, and the conclusion of the classification games will be held on Sunday, July 23.