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EuroLeague Women: Five WNBA players who have impressed during group play

From rookies to vets, EuroLeague Women is chock-full of WNBA talent. Let’s discuss a few WNBA players who have been particularly impressive during group play of the 2023-24 EuroLeague season.

We’ve seen Kayla McBride light up the WNBA for many years, and she’s doing just the same for Fenerbahçe in EuroLeague Women.
Photo by ALTAN GOCHER/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

One of the many reasons to follow FIBA’s EuroLeague Women competition is to watch WNBA stars thrive in different environments. Some may have bigger roles than American fans are used to seeing and, let’s face it, it’s fun when our favorite players show out—no matter where they are! While it would take quite some time to list all of the WNBA players currently hooping in EuroLeague Women, here are a handful whose performances have stood out so far during the 2023-24 season.

Ezi Magbegor (ZVVZ USK Praha)

Magbegor broke out for the Seattle Storm in 2023, and she’s continued her strong play into her second EuroLeague Women season, anchoring a Praha club that’s been head and shoulders above its competition in Group B. The Australian forward’s length and lateral movement make her a force on the defensive end of the floor, where she’s leading EuroLeague Women in blocks per game (2.6). She’s also tied with Sepsi-SIC’s Elin Gustavsson at the top of the rebounding leaderboards (8.6 per game). Magbegor has scored in double-figures in eight of Praha’s ten games and is even making 3-pointers—albeit on low volume—at 41.7 percent. Praha was never going to replace the years of world-class production it got from Alyssa Thomas (now playing in the WCBA) with any one player, but Magbegor’s fingerprints are all over the club’s newest era of success, and she’s going to continue to be a force as Praha competes for another EuroLeague Women championship.

Sika Koné (Perfumerias Avenida)

Another athletic young forward with tremendous promise, Koné figured to get valuable experience by playing her first-ever EuroLeague Women season with Avenida, and so far the results have been encouraging. Avenida began by bringing Koné along slowly, but she’s caught fire in her last five games, averaging 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds (three offensive) during that span. She’s also shooting 58.9 percent from the floor, which is good for third among qualified players. Just as in her rookie WNBA season in Chicago, the energy Koné plays with makes her impossible for Avenida to keep off the court. And the more her skills develop, the more of an impact she’ll make in other areas of the game.

Kayla McBride (Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding)

Neither WNBA nor EuroLeague Women fans are strangers to McBride’s game, and the amount of talent on Fenerbahçe’s roster can overshadow her contributions. Still, the veteran wing is playing some of the best basketball of her career, averaging 17.5 points (third in EuroLeague Women) and 3.5 made 3-pointers per game while shooting a scorching 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. McBride has shown plenty of playmaking chops, too, averaging 4.6 assists per game for a Fenerbahçe club that is second to none when it comes to moving the ball. McBride has been one of the best shooters in the world for a long time now, and while her performance for the defending EuroLeague Women champs won’t change her role with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, her consistent excellence should still be acknowledged.

Arella Guirantes (Beretta Famila Schio)

Guirantes and her teammates on DVTK HUN-Therm surprised some people last season, and though Guirantes is now playing for a bigger-name club in Schio, she’s once again risen to the challenge. Schio has won four of its last six games, and Guirantes is leading the club in scoring at 14.8 points per game, having scored in double-figures in each of the nine games she’s played. The talented one-on-one scorer hasn’t gotten much of a chance in the opportunity in the WNBA, having been cut after brief stints in Los Angeles and Seattle, but that may change if she continues her strong play overseas.

Kennedy Burke (Villeneuve-d’Ascq LM)

Burke is a great example of a player who didn’t have a clear WNBA role waiting for her out of college but has been able to hone her craft overseas. Currently a WNBA free agent, Burke has made a name for herself in France as a versatile wing who can produce on both ends of the court; she’s leading her club in scoring (15 points per game) and the 30 steals she’s racked up are the most of any EuroLeague Women player. At 6-foot-1, she’s even taken the opening tips for Villeneuve-d’Ascq—perhaps insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but a testament to her versatility nonetheless. Burke’s growth will surely make her a target for WNBA teams during free agency, though the league’s prioritization clause (that tends to affect players in France) could block her from playing this summer.