THE CANDIDATES - WOMEN
Bibrzycka led Poland to qualification for EuroBasket Women 2009 on the strength of 14.8 points and 2.1 steals per contest. The Poles finished second in Group B to Turkey with whom they split their two games. On the domestic side Agnieszka helped UMMC Ekateriburg reach the EuroLeague Women Final Four, averaging 14.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the eventual third place finishers.
Helped lead Spain through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and into the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Spanish finished in fifth place and Valdemoro averaged 13.0 points per contest. Named a EuroLeague Women All-Star playing for powerhouse CSKA Moscow, the 1.83m forward made the move to Spanish powerhouse Ros Casares in the off-season.
Led Latvia through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and into the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing where she topped the team in scoring and assists. Domestically, the 2007 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year, averaged 15.3 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals for EuroCup Women Champions Dynamo Moscow.
Key cog for EuroLeague Women side CSKA Moscow where she averaged 17.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in EuroLeague action last season. The Belgian international, a 1.95m center, was named a 2008 EuroLeague Women All-Star and is widely regarded as one of the best and most important players in international basketball.
Montanana helped Spain through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and to a fifth place finish at the 2008 Olympics, leading her team in scoring and rebounding. On the domestic side she averaged 15.1 points and 6.6 rebounds for EuroLeague Women squad Halcon Avenida. In the off-season, the 1.86m forward moved to powerhouse Ros Casares.
Vajda averaged 16.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game in leading Hungary to qualification for EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia where they will compete with Greece, Poland and the host team. She was also a key player for EuroLeague Women side MiZo Pecs 2010, contributing 9.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the 2007-2008 campaign.
Maltsi was, as usual, the leading light for Greece in their successful qualification for EuroBasket Women 2009, averaging 20.5 points per game. The 1.80m forward averaged 7.4 points and 2.5 assists for EuroLeague Women powerhouse Ros Casares. In the off-season she made the move to EuroLeague Women side USK Prague.
Stepanova was one of the leaders of the Russian team that captured bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Domestically she averaged 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for CSKA Moscow in EuroLeague Women action. Near the start of the 2008-2009 EuroLeague Women season the 2.03m center made the move to EuroLeague Women rivals UMMC Ekateriburg.
Gorbunova led Ukraine into the Additional Qualifying Round for EuroBasket Women 2009, contributing 20.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as they just missed out on direct qualification. The Ukranian is arguably one of Europe's leading small forwards.
Gruda averaged 13.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for EuroLeague Women Final Four participants UMMC Ekaterinburg. while she did not play for France in their successful attempt to qualify for EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia she did spend summer of 2008 with the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. Gruda was the 2006 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year.
This former standout at the University of Maryland, where she won an NCAA Championship led Israel to qualification for EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia, averaging 20.5 points per game. Domestically Doron played for EuroCup Women side Elitzur Ramla last season where she averaged 18.6 points and 3.0 assists per game in leading her team to the EuroCup Women Finals. This season she competes in EuroLeague Women with Besiktas Cola Turka.
Shchegoleva helped lead 2007 EuroBasket Women Champions Russia to a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, averaging 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. The 1.92m power forward was named to the EuroLeague Women All-Star game, and averaged 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for champions Spartak Moscow Region.
Led Belarus through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and into the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where she led her team in scoring and rebounding. Leuchanka moved from TTT Riga to UMMC Ekaterinburg at mid-season last year and helped lead her new side to the EuroLeague Women Final Four, averaging 10.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Leading light for Slovakia in their qualification for EuroBasket Women 2009, averaging 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. The 1.75m guard was a key cog for EuroLeague Women Final Four participants Gambrinus Brno (15.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.8 apg) who came within one game of taking home the 2008 EuroLeague Women title.