|24 January 2007|
Maria Stepanova of the Russian national team and CSKA Samara has been named the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year.
The 202-cm center has now won the award for the second consecutive time.
A stellar 2006 campaign convinced fans in a fibaeurope.com poll and the expert panel to select Stepanova.
She led both CSKA and Russia to the silver medal in the EuroLeague Women and the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women respectively.
In the 2005-2006 EuroLeague Women season, Stepanova averaged 14.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg.
She followed that up by posting 16 ppg, 8.6 rbg and 2.0 bpg at the World Championship, which featured Russia's historic win over the United States in the semi-finals.
Stepanova finished a convincing first place in the expert poll with 13 out of 24 first-place votes.
Ann Wauters, Stapanova's teammate with CSKA, finished second in the expert poll tally with seven first-place votes.
In the fan poll at fibaeurope.com, Stepanova finished third behind Linda Froehlich and Agnieszka Bibrzycka, who finished first and second respectively.
The panel’s votes were weighted to count for 70% of the final vote while the fan poll counted for 30%.
Stepanova lifted the inaugural FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year trophy at the first-ever EuroLeague Women All Star Game in Pecs, Hungary last March.
During the All Star Game, Stepanova accomplished a rare feat in women's basketball by connecting on a two-handed break-away slam dunk.
"We are all very fortunate to have the opportunity to watch Maria Stepanova," said FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.
"She is a graceful and exciting player who most importantly is a winner."
"Maria Stepanova is a basketball legend and no doubt deserves to once again lift the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year trophy," added FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
Stepanova will receive her trophy at this year's EuroLeague Women All Star Game in Valencia, Spain on 8 March.
Top 10 Results
|Overall Rank||Name ||Rank in panel vote||Rank in fan vote||Total Weighted Rank|
|3||Agnieszka Bibrzycka (POL)||6||2||4.8|
|4||Amaya Valdemoro (ESP)||4||8||5.2|
|5||Ilona Korstin (RUS)||5||6||5.3|
|7||Laia Palau (ESP)||6||10||7.2|
|8||Zuzana Zirkova (SVK)||9||4||7.5|
|9||Edwige Lawson (FRA)||6||16||9.0|
|10||Linda Froehlich (GER)||14||1||10.1|