Young Women - The Candidates

Daria Kolosovskaia - Russia and Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje
In a multi-pronged gold medal-winning scoring attack at the U18 European Championship Women, it was Kolosovskaia standing ever-so slightly higher than her peers. Averaging over 35 minutes a game for the Russians, Kolosovskaia's game did not look like dipping, despite the big minutes being asked of her, finishing as Russia's top scorer with 15.7 points a night. Her accuracy also remained throughout, shooting at 50% from the field in the semi-final and final. In the autumn, Kolosovskaia made her EuroCup Women debut with Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje.
Aleksandra Crvendakic - Serbia and UE Sopron
This summer, Crvendakic was in action for both the U18 and U20 Serbian national teams, beginning in Udine at the U20 European Championship Women. Averaging 13 points and 6.5 rebounds, Crvendakic was one of the main protagonists in getting Serbia into the semi-finals. A month later and the 18-year-old was at it again, almost causing a boil-over in the bronze medal game at the U18 European Championship Women with her 24 points and nine rebounds taking Serbia within a whisker of upsetting Spain.
Angela Salvadores - Spain and Rivas Ecopolis
Given the historical stranglehold USA has over international women's basketball at senior and youth level, it was going to take a herculean effort to see that change in 2014. That almost came to fruition when Salvadores produced what is considered one of the greatest individual displays in women's youth basketball, scoring 40 points in the gold medal game of the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women as Spain came within a basket of toppling USA from their throne for the first time in history.
Astou Ndour - Spain and Fenerbahce/San Antonio Stars
The reigning winner of the FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year award has presented a strong case for retaining it, following another spot on the U20 European Championship Women All-Tournament Team. Following summer, she was presented with a number of firsts, namely a debut for the San Antonio Stars, followed by a EuroLeague Women debut with Fenerbahce in autumn. Like a chameleon, Ndour has comfortably blended into her new surrounding in Istanbul, averaging 9.8 points and 6.2 rebounds through the first five EuroLeague Women games of the season.
Cansu Köksal - Turkey and Fenerbahce
Despite a disappointing campaign for Turkey at the U20 European Championship Women, Köksal was not individually being held accountable, with her potential and upside acknowledged by senior women's coach Ceyhun Yildizoglu who late in the summer gave the forward a debut at the FIBA World Championship for Women on home soil. Not just on the squad to provide competition in training, Köksal proved her worth with over ten minutes playing time a night as the Turkish team made it as far as the tournament's semi-finals.
Cecilia Zandalasini - Italy and Beretta Famila Schio
In the summer of 2014, Zandalasini was one of the hottest properties in Italy with a number of national team programmes vying for her extensive range of skills. In the end it was the senior national team and with her own peers at U18 level where she was plying her trade, appearing in the EuroBasket Women 2nd Qualification Round and then the U18 European Championship Women in Matosinhos. A deserved EuroLeague Women debut then came in autumn, following a transfer to the club of reigning Italian club champions, Famila Schio.
Kseniia Levchenko - Russia and Sparta&K M.R Vidnoje
The 1.65m Levchenko is the perfect poster-child for anyone arguing the stereotype that ‘basketball is a tall person's game.' Despite her small stature, and still only being 18, Levchenko was achieving big things in 2014, including a EuroLeague Women Final Eight appearance and a senior national team debut in the EuroBasket Women 2nd Qualification Round. However, it was amongst her own peers where her biggest contributions were achieved, facilitating a fourth quarter comeback in the U18 European Championship Women gold medal game, to get Russia over France and onto the top step of the podium.
Leticia Romero - Spain and Florida State (redshirt for this season)
Whilst Leticia Romero's freshman season at college could comfortably be described as tumultuous, she did not let her basketball suffer, impressing fans stateside with her passing and shooting game which European fans have grown accustomed to. Making her first of a potential two appearances at the U20 European Championship Women, Romero was the lynchpin of the backcourt on the silver-medal winning Spanish team, joining Astou Ndour on the All-Tournament Team. The eyes of national team play caller Lucas Mondelo were also upon her, and by the end of the summer, Romero was playing for him at the FIBA Basketball World Championship for Women.
Olivia Epoupa - France and Toulouse
The old adage states that defence wins matches and during the women's youth summer, there was no better exponent of this than Olivia Epoupa. With Leticia Romero and Astou Ndour amongst their ranks, Spain were the hot favourites for a four-peat at the U20 European Championship Women, but it was the defensive-minded French, led by Epoupa, who were on hand to spoil the party. Epoupa's speed and sleight of hand were unparalleled as she averaged a tournament-high 3.9 steals a game, a major factor in her also being named Tournament MVP.
Zofia Hruscakova - Slovakia and Good Angels Kosice
Incredibly, the summer of 2014 saw Hruscakova pulling on a national team vest at youth level for the 9th time, despite still qualifying to play at U20 level again in 2015. At the U20 European Championship Women in Udine, Hruscakova was the driving force for the Slovakians as they made a somewhat unexpected run to the quarter-finals. Prior to joining the U20 team in summer, she also made her senior team debut, averaging 11 points and 7.2 rebounds as Slovakia qualified for EuroBasket Women. If that was not already impressive enough, the 2014/2015 EuroLeague Women season marks her fourth in the competition.

2014 Player of the Year Voting


All Winners

Men
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

Women
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