Young Women - The Candidates
Torrens, an exceptionally tall wing player, capitalised on an injury to Spain star Amaya Valdemoro to start for Spain at the EuroBasket Women. She did not disappoint anybody, going for 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. She added another medal to her EuroBasket Women bronze by leading Spain to a 2nd place finish at the U20 European Championship Women, also being named MVP of the tournament.
After an injury plagued Turkey senior team called her up to go to Latvia, where she displayed some nice skills, chipping in 3.5 points ppg she really stepped it up at the U20 European Championship Women. She scored a team high 15.1 points per game, grabbed 4.9 rebounds and also dished out 1.8 assists, leading her team to a sixth place finish.
After scoring 9.2 points per game for her home side SK Cesis in the EuroCup Women Babkina was hoping for a nomination to the EuroBasket Women in her home country. But she was cut from the roster and showed at the U20 European Championship Women that she might have been able to help the seniors as well. She propelled Latvia to an unexpected third place finish while being the top scorer of the tournament at 21.8 ppg and second in assists at 5.1.
The 2008 Young Woman Player of the Year followed up her award with some outstanding performances. The 1.94m center patrolled the paint for 20.6 points and 11 boards per game at the U20 European Championship Women where she also blocked almost three shots every game to intimidate opponents. At the EuroBasket Women Lithuania could count on her rebounding (6.8) and she also scored 10.2 points per game.
After shining at the youth tournaments of every age group in the past years, Jelena took her game to another level. She was arguably Sopron's best player in the EuroLeague Women, averaging 15 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Milovanovic took Sopron on her back all the way to the Final Four. At EuroBasket Women she could not quite keep it up but still was her team's second best scorer.
Elhotova, who has been around on the top level for some years now could not avoid a rather disappointing Czech outing at the EuroBasket Women despite her solid 7.2 points and 1.5 steals. In the EuroLeague Women, where she first played at the age of 17 in 2006 she gave her Prague side 5.6 points off the bench and also contributed big to the domestic league title that was won over long time champions Brno.
The second prospect in this list of EuroLeague Women power house Spartak Moscow Region really earned her spot on the three-time defending EuroLeague Women Champion's roster. Despite terrorising her domestic league opponent's she led Sweden to the promotion games of the EuroBasket Women Division B with 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. She also was the protagonist in a classy Sweden performance at the U20 European Championship Women.
The MVP of the silver medal winning group from the U19 World Championship in Malaysia was the undisputed leader in the run to the finals where her Spain side fell to the previously beaten U.S. team. She averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 rebounds over the tournament and displayed great maturity and leadership. At the U20 European Championship Women she teamed up with Alba Torrens and Tamara Abalde to go for her second silver of the summer.
Plust already has 8 games of EuroLeague Women under her belt but her real time to shine came in the U20 European Championship Women. The shooting guard was outstanding in the French Gold Medal run, thrashing Spain in the final. Plust averaged a team high 12.9 points and stole the ball 1.6 times a game.
Malashenko was selected to represent Ukraine at the EuroBasket Women 2009, where she could do little but gather experience before Ukraine dropped out of the tournament after three games. Later in the summer at the U18 European Championship Women she had some stellar performances, carrying a mediocre team to the Quarter-Finals and leading the tournament in rebounds (13.8) to go with her 18.7 points per game. For her former club Dexia Namur, she averaged 10 pts and 6.9 rebounds in the EuroCup Women.
Serving as a role model for thousands of Latvian school kids Niedola gave a glimpse of what Latvia can expect of her in the future in her final EuroBasket Women game. She played 24 minutes, scored 16 points, went for 11 boards and showed that she is physically ready for the senior game. In her age group she averaged a double-double of 20.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. Niedola also handed out 3.3 assists and came up with 2.8 steals.
Being voted young women of the year as early as in 2007, Petrovic has since had to deal with several injuries that kept her from reaching her full potential. What she can do when healthy could be seen at EuroBasket Women, where she was by far Serbia's best player. At the U20 European Championship Women she almost averaged a double-double before getting injured again. Spartak Moscow Region signing her to a multi-year contract is just more proof of her talent.