Wauters Lands Top Award

08 January 2006

Belgian Ann Wauters captured a EuroLeague Women crown, a FIBA Women's World League title and the Russian Superleague Women championship.

Now she is being honoured as the top female player in Europe by Gazzetta dello Sport, with the Italian newspaper giving her its Euroscar award.

Wauters, 25, claimed 48 votes in the Euroscar voting, beating Volgaburmash team-mate and Russian international center Maria Stepanova (29 votes) into second place.

Dirk Nowitzki (Germany)
Dirk Nowitzki scooped the men's award
Wauters averaged 12.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 15 EuroLeague Women games. She had 16 points and eight rebounds in the 69-66 championship triumph over Gambrinus Brno.

"I don't believe I'm the best in Europe," Wauters insisted, "but I do believe Samara has the best squad in Europe. Without my team, I would never have experienced a season like last one and I would never have won the EuroLeague (Women).

"In the European competition, there are many players at a high level, which is why I believe I am not the best. But nevertheless, I am very proud to have won this award."

As for beating Stepanova, Wauters said: "All my team-mates are the best in Europe. I am also a fan of Hungarian player Dalma Ivanyi of Pecs."

Ivanyi had the fourth most votes.

Wauters does not want to rest on her laurels.

"My aim this season is to defend the EuroLeague title because it is the most exciting time for a player but my dream is to participate in an Olympic Games," she said.

"I know that Belgium are not as strong as the other nations, but you never know. I never give up and I will give everything I can to achieve this."

Wauters has captured four French titles with Valenciennes, three EuroLeagues - two with the French side and one with Samara, whom she joined in 2004.

Dirk Nowitzki of Germany won the Euroscar honour for men for the fourth year in succession.

Nowitzki was the most valuable player at EuroBasket 2005 when he led his country to a silver medal.

He collected 191 votes to win the Euroscar.

Lithuania's Sarunas Jasikevicius, who led Maccabi Tel-Aviv to their second straight Euroleague crown, was second to Nowitzki with 97 votes.

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