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ESPN’s Globetrotter Alexa Philippou Scores With Her FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Reports

In Sydney this weekend, Team USA contends for another major title; Philippou's trekked from the WNBA Finals to the Land Down Under without missing a step

Alexa Philippou joined ESPN as a women’s basketball reporter in February and has hit the ground running ever since, jumping into March Madness, followed immediately by the WNBA season.

Alexa Philippou reports from the Sydney Superdome. (Alexa Philippou/ESPN)

Before the recent WNBA Finals even concluded, Philippou traveled 15 hours to Sydney, Australia, for her most exciting assignment to date – the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. The competition concludes Saturday (2 a.m. ET, ESPN2) with the Championship game.

Philippou is closely following the USA Women’s Basketball Team in Australia for, while also contributing to ESPN’s global television coverage of the World Cup, appearing on both ESPN Australia and ESPN International/Tencent in China. She discusses the unique opportunity to travel around the world to cover this event and work with new colleagues while also fitting in a little sightseeing.

What’s a normal day like covering the World Cup?
The ESPN Australia crew — which I’m working with closely — has a daily production meeting at 10 a.m. to go over the day’s show. The USA has played most of its games between noon and 2/2:30 p.m., so I usually get to the Olympic Park fairly early to catch that game, do postgame media, etc. Once that’s over, I have some time to prep for my ESPN Australia and/or China segments in the late afternoon.

It’s a pretty fast-paced schedule with eight games in 10 days for teams. I’ve been doing a daily segment with the ESPN Australia show, typically recapping how the USA fared in their last game, but more recently I had the opportunity to discuss Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia [see tweet below] and how the USA is looking to honor their beloved teammate.

ESPN International in China has also had me on a few times. I’ll then stick around to watch Team Australia play (most of the time, that starts at 8:30 p.m.) so that I can get a closer look at how the Opals are doing and go back to the hotel with the rest of the ESPN team following the post-game show.

What are your impressions of the tournament play, especially from the USA team?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how the team has fared so far. I thought there would be more of a learning curve, considering they have so many new faces compared to the Tokyo Olympics squad last year. Yet, they still managed to break the World Cup single-game scoring record with 145 points in their fourth game of the tournament. The style of play coach Cheryl Reeve has implemented is fun to watch, and I really love seeing the team get after it defensively.

It’s such an important part of many WNBA players’ careers — either as part of Team USA or other countries’ squads — that in my mind, covering events like the World Cup properly is critical to holistically covering the sport. – Alexa Philippou

What’s your favorite experience so far?
Working with the ESPN Australia crew and getting those TV reps has been invaluable, as has speaking with and covering players I haven’t had much one-on-one time with since becoming a national reporter with ESPN in February.

Being one of only a handful of American journalists in Sydney has really helped me get good face time with the team, and I suspect those relationships will carry over into my future WNBA/national team coverage.

I’ve also really appreciated getting a firsthand look at international basketball, as this is the first FIBA event I personally have covered. It’s such an important part of many WNBA players’ careers — either as part of Team USA or other countries’ squads — that in my mind, covering events like the World Cup properly is critical to holistically covering the sport.

Will you have the opportunity to do any sightseeing?
I’ve seen the Opera House, walked from Bondi to Coogee Beach along the coast – definitely a highlight of my Australia experience, and went to a wildlife park where I took a picture with a koala and fed a kangaroo. I feel like by the time I leave Sunday, I’ll have completed the must-see touristy things in Australia.


The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup concludes this weekend with the Third Place and Final games. The television and streaming schedule across ESPN platforms is as follows:
Fri., Sept. 3010:50 p.m. FIBA WBWC Third Place:
Canada vs. Australia
Sat., Oct. 12 a.m.FIBA WBWC Final:
USA vs. China

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