Women - The Candidates

Alba Torrens - Spain and Galatasaray
Torrens teamed up with club teammate Sancho Lyttle to provide Spain with the most daunting frontcourt in Europe. By her own high standards, Torren's 2013 club season could be considered a failure but the change of scenery come late spring revived the Torrens of old. Wearing her national team jumper, the 24-year-old all but increased her average points output from the club season by 10 points (6.4 points in EuroLeague Women, 16.2 points at EuroBasket Women). Completed her time in France with the fourth highest points return, joining teammate Lyttle on the All Tournament team.
Birsel Vardarli - Turkey and Fenerbahce
Appearing earlier this year in her fifth EuroBasket Women campaign, it is easy to overlook the fact that Vardarli is still only 29. Backing up from their silver medal two years ago, Vardarli was the stimulus behind Turkey once more travelling to the podium, providing a cool demeanour and calming influence in the Turkish backcourt, hitting from downtown at 45.5% a night, along with 4.2 assists. The guard also provided the same organisational role for Fenerbahce, leading the team in 3.9 assists a game as they journeyed to the EuroLeague Women final.
Celine Dumerc - France and Bourges Basket
Come the hour, come the hero. With France down by three points with less than two minutes to play in their quarter-final encounter with Sweden, the then 30-year-old Dumerc came to the fore, hitting three threes in a little over a minute-and-a-half to turn the game on its head and confirm her place as one of Europe's best ever guards. Her performance in Ekaterinburg back in March had been no less impressive, taking Bourges to an unexpected podium finish at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.
Frida Eldebrink - Sweden and Rivas Ecopolis
Following on from surgery for a wrist injury picked up back in November 2012 playing for Bourges - which brought to an end her domestic campaign - it was difficult to know what kind of shape Frida would arrive in France in. But the shooting guard rapidly set about to allay any fears over lingering issues from the operation, scorching opponents with her hot hand, picking up 18-points-a-night as Sweden made a somewhat unexpected run to the quarter-finals before suffering heartbreak at the death at the hands of hosts France.
Giorgia Sottana - Italy and Famila Schio
The Italian pocket rocket spent no time dwelling on a less-than-memorable EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Ekaterinburg with Italian club, Schio, thriving in the national team atmosphere of the Azzurre. Employing something of shoot-first roll for the Italians, the 24-year-old knocked down shots from beyond the perimeter at an impressive 47.2%, leading her team to the quarter-finals with a team-high 14.3 points a night. Her 47.3% shooting from downtown was the second-best in the tournament whilst also making the second-most three-pointers in France.
Jelena Milovanovic - Serbia and Dynamo Kursk
With plenty of discussion about who was not travelling to France to play for Serbia, Jelena Milovanovic quickly made it clear that she was there, providing the impetus for Serbia in surprisingly making it as far as the semi-finals, as well as gain a berth in the FIBA World Championship for Women. Her stats impressed, leading her team in points (13.7 points a night) and rebounds (4.3 rebounds a night). At a personal level, her club season had been just as successful, with 19.1 points a night in EuroLeague Women, playing for UE Sopron.
Johannah Leedham - Great Britain and Bourges Basket
Not too much was being made of the Great Britain team prior to EuroBasket Women - something that provided the incentive required from Johannah Leedham. The gritty shooting guard quickly became the face of the British campaign, knocking down 16.8 points a night whilst dishing out 4.5 assists providing Team GB with a widely unexpected Second Round berth. The 25-year-old also provided consistency for EuroLeague Women bronze medallists, Bourges Basket, with 8.4 points a night.
Sancho Lytttle - Spain and Galatasaray
Prior to EuroBasket Women 2013, the script was already written with Celine Dumerc and France standing atop the podium on home soil. Only one problem. Lyttle's copy of the script went missing in the post. The 30-year-old center terrorised all-comers in the paint in France, completing the tournament with an 18.4-point, 11.1-rebound double-double, deservedly earning MVP honours. 2013 was not the greatest EuroLeague Women campaign for Galatasary but Lyttle was her consistent self, achieving 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds each outing.
Sandrine Gruda - France and UMMC Ekaterinburg
It was Celine Dumerc who was producing the big individual plays for France at EuroBasket Women but it was the consistency of Sandrine Gruda that navigated the French to the gold medal game. Opting for eloquence over aggressiveness inside the paint, the 26-year-old lead France in points (12.0) and rebounds (5.8) each outing. Her stats almost mirrored those from her domestic season where she tasted even more success as a member of the triumphant UMMC Ekaterinburg who completed the EuroLeague Women season with just one loss.
Yelena Leuchanka - Belarus and Good Angels Kosice
The globetrotting Belarussian returned from a stint in China to join the national team and showed immediately that she had not lost any of her class since last appearing on the old continent. The fate of Belarus, both figuratively and literally, centred around the 30-year-old and Leuchanka shouldered the responsibility with style leading her team in points (11.9) and rebounds (8.9) each evening, assuring their safe passage to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Championship for Women. Leuchanka has now returned to Europe for the current club season easing into a leadership role with Good Angel Kosice where she is just shy of averaging a double-double.

All Winners

2013: Tony Parker
2012: Andrei Kirilenko
2011: Dirk Nowitzki
2010: Milos Teodosic
2009: Pau Gasol
2008: Pau Gasol
2007: Andrei Kirilenko
2006: Theo Papaloukas
2005: Dirk Nowitzki

2013: Sancho Lyttle
2012: Celine Dumerc
2011: Alba Torrens
2010: Hana Horáková
2009: Sandrine Gruda
2008: Maria Stepanova
2007: Anete Jekabsone-Zogota
2006: Maria Stepanova
2005: Maria Stepanova

Young Men
2013: Dario Saric
2012: Jonas Valanciunas
2011: Jonas Valanciunas
2010: Jan Vesely
2009: Ricky Rubio
2008: Ricky Rubio
2007: Ricky Rubio
2006: Rudy Fernandez
2005: Nikolaos Zisis

Young Women
2013: Astou Ndour
2012: Alina Iagupova
2011: Emma Meesseman
2010: Nika Baric
2009: Alba Torrens
2008: Gintare Petronyte
2007: Sonja Petrovic
2006: Sandrine Gruda
2005: Anete Jekabsone