Proud To Be On The Podium

21.12.2010

EuroLeague Women

12. Ann Wauters (Belgium)
Wauters is not disheartened by the fact athletes who compete in individual sports, like tennis, get more media exposure

Ann Wauters is hands down the best basketball player Belgium has ever produced.

The 30-year-old center's achievements for US Valenciennes, CSKA Moscow and UMMC Ekaterinburg have led to appearances in the EuroLeague Women All-Star Game.

She is frequently recognized as one of the top athletes in the country.

On Sunday at the Casino of Oostende, Wauters placed third in the voting for Belgian Sportswoman of the Year.

It's the fifth time she has come in third.

If it's not a tennis superstar like Justine Henin or Kim Clijsters blocking the way to number one in Belgium for Wauters, it's a 2008 Olympic champion in the high jump like Tia Hellebauth.

"But I'm not so disappointed," Wauters said.

"We can imagine that tennis is more popular and attracts more attention from the media.

"Basketball is also a collective (team) sport and I've been playing so many years abroad that maybe I am not getting that much attention in Belgium.

"But I'm really happy to be on the podium for the fifth time."

She has been on the podium in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and now 2010.

This year she finished again behind the winner Cljisters.

"I had the opportunity to put women's basketball in the spotlight in my country," Wauters said.

"I'm really proud of that. Sure, I have never won the title of Sportswoman of the Year, but I'm really happy that honor in Belgium has such high level competition.

"And it's difficult to compare performances from different sports."

Wauters is taking a break in her career because she is pregnant.

However, she has already promised to be back for next season.

She appeared in three Euroleague Women games this season for UMMC Ekaterinburg, averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.


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