By David Hein
France power forward Sandrine Gruda was honoured with the 2006 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year Award before the tip-off of Sunday's 2007 EuroBasket Women gold medal match between Russia and Spain.
The Cannes native, who just turned 20 in June, has already twice been named MVP of the French league while also helping Valenciennes to the 2006 Final Four of the Women EuroLeague. Gruda also competed for France at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Brazil, averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Gruda, who will play next season for Russian powers Ekaterinburg, averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocked shots in helping France to eighth place in Italy.
"I am very proud of getting the award. For me it's a very important prize for my career and it's a reward for the work I've done so far,” said Gruda.
“It would have been great had we also clinched a medal in this tournament."