The 2017-18 FIBA EuroLeague Women Final Four is starting today. You can watch it on FIBA’s YouTube channel for free. Here are some facts that Pierre Ploszajski of BlueStarMedia shared with me in addition to the preview that we have for you this morning.
- Evgeniia Belyakova played 20 games for the Sparks in 2016. I mentioned the big names in the preview yesterday. She’s averaging 6.4 points in EuroLeague Women play.
- Alba Torrens was a 2009 WNBA Draft third round pick to the Connecticut Sun. She was going to play for Connecticut that year, but she suffered an injury so that didn’t happen. Nika Baric was a second round pick for the Lynx. She came to training camp in 2016 but was cut before the season.
- And Maya Moore is playing for her second EuroLeague Women title. In 2011-12, she was with Spanish team Ros Casares, who won the title.
- We talked a lot about Vadeeva being younger than the WNBA. Raisa Musina, the Mercury’s 2018 second round draft pick is averaging 5.4 points for UMMC this season in EuroLeague Women and just turned 20 herself. She’s about three months older than Vadeeva, though.
- In short, UMMC is about as loaded as a top-tier WNBA team.
- Maria Vadeeva previously played on Spartak Vidnoje with Mystics forward Emma Meesseman and Sky center Stefanie Dolson. At some point, Meesseman and Vadeeva were treated to Dolson’s impromptu dance offs at Mexican restaurants in Russia:
- Head Coach Roberto Iniguez coached Moore on Ros Casares in 2011-12.
Yakin Dogu Universitesi
- Ann Wauters will play in her 12th EuroLeague Women Final Four. Unless you’re from Europe and Belgium, Americans view her as a draft bust because the top draft pick in 2000 took many WNBA seasons off, likely for similar reasons that fellow Belgian Emma Meesseman is this summer. But in Europe, Wauters is women’s basketball royalty. She was a five time European player of the year in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2008 and was the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in 2001, 2002, and 2004. In short, Wauters was a big freaking deal in her prime — and she’s expected to suit up for Belgium again in this year’s World Cup.