CSKA Volgaburmash and Russian international center Maria Stepanova lifted the FIBA Europe 2006 Women’s Player of the Year award at the EuroLeague Women All Star Game.
Stepanova, a back-up on the European team, entered the game in the opening stages of the first quarter and play was stopped so FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin could walk on to the floor and present Stepanova the trophy.
The 28-year-old was chosen as the Player of the Year after a fan poll taken on fibaeurope.com that was combined with the selections of an expert panel consisting of players, coaches and media.
“I am really happy to have won this award,” Stepanova said
“This is the second consecutive time and it is always more difficult the second time so this is really special for me.”
The 206-cm center averaged 14.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg in the 2005-2006 EuroLeague Women season and later that year she fired Russia to the silver medal at the FIBA World Championship in Brazil, a tournament which saw her side upset favourites the United States in the semi-finals.