Young Women - The Candidates

Aleksandra Crvendakic - Serbia and Crvena Zvezda
At the U18 European Championship Women 2013, the 1.87m forward was the standout player inside and, growing of her experiences from playing at the same level a year previous to remarkably finish second in all three of the main statistical categories: scoring (16.1 a game), rebounding (10.9 a game) and assists (4.6 a game). Her aggressive game, helped by her immense athleticism, could not quite assist Serbia at getting into the gold medal game, but it nonetheless earned her a spot on the All Tournament team, as well as a bronze medal.
Artemis Spanou - Greece and Robert Morris University
Whilst Spanoulis was the talk of Greek men's basketball, an uncannily similar surname was all the talk of Greek women's basketball. It was not there that the similarities ended with the ability that Spanou showed to singlehandedly take over games reflective of that of Spaoulis. Powering Greece into EuroBasket Women 2015 by topping her team's points and rebounding categories, the 20-year-old put in some remarkable performances at the U20 European Championship Women, finishing the tournament second in points and rebounding categories. Her performances for Robert Morris University are also gaining her attention for awards stateside.
Astou Ndour - Spain and Gran Canaria
With athleticism to burn, Astou Ndour was an unstoppable force for Spain in the paint at the U20 European Championship Women. Missing out on appearing at her maiden EuroBasket Women, the 1.96m center overcame any disappointment she may have had by scoring 17.3 points a night, alongside 9.8 rebounds as Spain ran through the tournament unbeaten. A few days later and she was performing on a bigger stage, picking up 17.8 points a night and 9.4 rebounds as Spain made it to the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women semi-finals.
Dalia Belickaite - Lithuania and Jaunieji Talentai
Despite still only being 17, the talented Lithuanian was mixing it with the older girls to begin the summer, representing her country on home soil at the FIBA U19 World Championship Women where she averaged 12.1 points, four assists and 5.8 rebounds each outing. Next up was the U18 European Championship Women Division B. Sadly, what the point guard brought to her national team was best exemplified when she was off the court, as the team's surge for gold was halted when Belickaite was injured early in Lithuania's semi-final clash with Belgium. Prior to the injury, she was averaging 15.4 points and five rebounds a night.
Francesca Dotto - Italy and Gesam Lucca
Prior to EuroBasket Women, the general consensus amongst pundits was that Dotto's role would be minimal - at best consistent minutes off the bench. However, the theory was quickly put to rest as the 20-year-old became one of the rocks on the Azzurre squad, picking up 8.4 points a night in 19.4 minutes. Literally just days later and the princess of defence was picking apart offences at the U20 European Championship Women, using her defensive mind-set to drive Italy into the gold medal game.
Leticia Romero - Spain and Kansas State
Billed as one of the hottest up-and-coming talents in Spain, Romero showed why in summer - first in Lithuania at the FIBA U19 World Championship Women and later at the U18 European Championship Women in Croatia. Despite being a year younger than her peers at the World Championship, Romero still managed 12.1 points a game as Spain made it to the semi-finals, whilst in Croatia, the point guard took her team to the top, earning MVP honours as Spain claimed their fifth gold of the European summer.
Maryia Papova - Belarus and Namur Capitale
A player who relies on grind rather than flashiness, Papova was the backbone of a Belarus U20 team that made an unexpected flight for U20 European Championship glory. With 13.1 points and 9.2 rebounds a night, the Belarus power forward displayed the experience she had gained as a member of the fifth-placed Belarusian squad at EuroBasket Women earlier in the summer, where she put in some useful cameo roles off the bench. The 19-year-old is now pursuing her third EuroCup Women campaign and her first outside of Belarus, with Belgian club Namur.
Olcay Cakir - Turkey and Fenerbahce
Recognised for her talents by one of Europe's power houses, the 20-year-old guard is the only EuroLeague Women player to make this year's Women's Young Player of the Year list. Cakir appeared oblivious to the pressures of playing in front of her home fans at the U20 European Championship in the summer, providing direction in the backcourt as Turkey provided for the local crowd with third place on the podium. She is now enjoying increased exposure in her third season with Fenerbahce, scoring nine points in 12 minutes in her one appearance at time of writing.

 

Olivia Epoupa - France and Basket Landes
Epoupa's summer was set solely on focusing on the FIBA U19 World Championship Women - a decision which proved fruitful. With the advantage of a EuroCup Women campaign already behind her, the 19-year-old point guard showed that she will one day be ready to fill the boots of the immortal Celine Dumerc on the senior women's team, producing a well-rounded stat line which included averages of 11.7 points, 5.9 rebounds (at 1.64m) and 4.0 assists - statistics good enough to earn her a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Valeriane Ayayi - France and Basket Landes
In a busy year for the French small forward, Ayayi successfully made the step between youth and senior women's basketball. Beginning the summer by gaining invaluable playing time on the EuroBasket Women silver medal-winning French team, Ayayi travelled to Lithuania for the FIBA U19 World Championship Women where she picked up 11 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and her second silver medal of the summer. The 19-year-old has now made a smooth transition into senior basketball for EuroCup Women club Basket Landes.

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