From 13-19 June, the 12-team 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) will bring household names battling it out for the remaining fives places for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
FIBA.com brings you ten reasons to follow the tournament.
Led by four London Olympians, including Celine Dumerc, Isabelle Yacoubou, Endy Miyem and Sandrine Gruda, the quartet was part of the team that stunned the world by reaching the London Olympics Final undefeated in seven games before falling to the USA.
Fresh off a EuroCup title with Tango Bourges side, Dumerc told FIBA.com, they are focused and prepared to ensure a place in Rio “in just three games after falling short to Serbia at EuroBasket Women 2015 Finals.
If the hosts can win at least one game in the Group A which includes Cuba and New Zealand, and succeed in the Quarter-Finals, Valerie Garnier’s team will be on their way to the Olympics for the second straight time.
2 - Leuchanka is looking at the WOQT as a chance to move on from last summer's disappointment
Belarus were close to reaching the EuroBasket Women 2015 Gold-Medal game, but a 74-72 loss to Serbia in the Semi-Finals postponed their Rio Olympics aspirations.
Leuchanka and Anastasiya Verameyenka who can dominate inside, New York Liberty’s Lindsey Harding at the point guard and sharpshooter Katsiaryna Snytsina on the wing give Belarus reasons to remain confident.
Leuchanka told FIBA.com: “Right now, the only that team I am focused on is Nigeria, and after that, we’ll talk about South Korea. They say Nigeria has some current and former college players. We need to be prepared, all 12 teams are here for a reason.”
3 - Turkey are determined to succeed on the big stage
With the likes of London Olympics trio Isil Alben, Nevriye Yilmaz and Birsel Vardarli Demirmen, and Lara Sanders they combine experience, talent and head to Nantes looking to return to the Olympics for the second time in a row.
Alben’s Turkey will take on Argentina and Cameroon in Group B, and they shouldn’t have troubles making it to the Quarter-Finals undefeated where they could potentially go up against New Zealand or Cuba.
Loathed with the talented of Marta Xargay and Sancho Lyttle, Spain have moved on from a disappointing Third-Place at EuroBasket Women last summer, and Alba Torrens, enters the competition after winning two major trophies this season - EuroLeague Women and Russian Championship.
Drawn in Group D, Spain will square off against China and Venezuela.
5 - Once China's great, Nan Chen is back to fight for her fourth Olympic appearance
China’s Nan Chen is chasing her fourth straight Olympics appearance.
By returning from international basketball after the FIBA Asia Championship 2013, the 33-year-old represents a morale booster for China, who chase their fourth straight Olympics appearance.
6 - Check out Harlem Globetrotter member Ekworomadu playing for Nigeria
One of the key pieces of Nigeria, Joyce Ekworomadu and Adaora Elonu have been key at last summer's AfroBasket Women. Former WNBA Ekworomadu is bringing some her ball handling and shooting to Nantes.
7 - Is Jisu Park one of the best 17 years old in the women's basketball?
Jisu Park of Korea is only 17-years of age, but her vast margin for progress and talent can’t stop raise eyebrows. With so many international tournaments under belt, the 1.95m center is a player to watch out for in Nantes.
8 - Roselis and Perez are some of the reason for Venezuela growing
Roselis Silva is a name to keep in mind after energising Venezuela to the Second-Place of last month's FIBA South Americans. Silva and rising star Waleska Perez make a dynamic duo to watch out for.
The five most successful teams in Nantes will round-up the 12-team Rio Olympics, which already includes the USA, Australia, Japan, Canada, Senegal, Brazil, and Serbia.
10 - Turkey, France, Belarus and Spain are the teams to beat
Can a non-European team prevent France, Belarus, Spain and Turkey from remaining the dominant force in the WOQT? That’s the question to be answered in the next seven days.
For some of those players, this WOQT is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reach the Olympics.