Career: CFBB (France-NF1/2, 2002-05), Valenciennes (France-LFB, 2005-07), Ekaterinburg (Russia-Superleague, 2007-08) Connecticut Sun (USA-WNBA, 2008), Ekaterinburg (Russia-Superleague, 2008-09), Connecticut Sun (USA-WNBA, 2009), Ekaterinburg (Russia-Superleague, 2009-10) Connecticut Sun (USA-WNBA, 2010), Ekaterinburg (Russia-Superleague, 2010-11)
After missing the FIBA World Championship Women last year, Sandrine Gruda should be back to help France defend their title. It seems incredible to think she will celebrate only her 24th Birthday during the tournament taking into account the lengthy list of accomplishments in her career so far. Perhaps basketball was in her blood and she was always destined for success with the National team since her mother Ulysse also represented her country. Brought Up in Martinique and arriving in France aged 14, it's fair to say that from the moment she pulled on the vest for Les Bleus, she has excelled in a big way, something also replicated at club level. Before she was even 20 years old she had already been crowned MVP of the French league and helped Valenciennes to the Final Four of EuroLeague Women. She averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds per game at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Brazil and then became the only player in French basketball history to be crowned Young Player Of The Year and then Player Of The Year during the same season when she exploded in 2007. Her rise to one of the most influential stars in World basketball has seen her participate in further Final Fours with UMM Ekaterinburg, take to the floor in the WNBA and of course, lead the team to a gold medal in Latvia at EuroBasket Women 2009 by scoring almost twice as much as any of her team-mates. A big talent in more ways than one, expect All Star and former FIBA Young Player Of The Year Gruda to continue dominating in the paint and on the glass. Most impressively of all, watch out for the work ethic which always compliments her array of skills including a trademark step back fade-away and a fantastic mid-range game.