Which EuroLeague Women young gun will have a breakout 2021?
MUNICH (Germany) - One of the most positive and exciting aspects of EuroLeague Women is the growing number of rising stars who are looking to post a breakout year in 2021.
Here are six young guns who are aged no more than 21-years old who will all be looking to grow in influence during this new calendar year and should be on your radar.
Let us know who you think can make a difference and raise their game in 2021 with our fan vote at the bottom of the page.
Anastasiia Kosu - Dynamo Kursk
The 15-year-old made her name in 2019 when she was MVP of the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship, delivering an overdue gold for her country. Since then, she has broken into the Dynamo Kursk senior team and logged her EuroLeague Women debut during the first hub of the season. The forward is super athletic, has a huge future and with Kursk struggling, could they turn more to the young ace as part of their rotation to get things done in 2021? She is already clocking up double-digit court time in the Russian Premier League.
Juste Jocyte - LDLC ASVEL Feminin
The youngest player ever to participate in the modern era of EuroLeague Women when she debuted in the competition last season, Jocyte continues to progress and mature at LDLC ASVEL Feminin. Incredibly versatile, super talented and already touted as the future of basketball for Lithuania, there is a lot of pressure on her young shoulders, but she looks like she will inevitably make a bigger breakthrough soon.
Kendra Chery - Basket Landes
The dynamic Chery played a nice cameo in the first hub when Basket Landes made history with their first ever EuroLeague Women triumph. The 19-year-old has shown she could be an even bigger influence during 2021, already playing plenty of minutes in the LFB for her team. If she can work like crazy on becoming more of a threat from the perimeter to balance her athletic attributes, some seriously good things could happen.
Marine Fauthoux - LDLC ASVEL Feminin
A potential international candidate for the 2021 WNBA Draft, Fauthoux is in the process of cementing herself as part of the core rotation at LDLC ASVEL Feminin and is also now making more if an impact on the senior French set up. In fact she played back in February last year at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament and many are tipping her to push for a place in Tokyo, but more certainly at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 after debuting at Final Round in 2019 . With a wonderful basketball IQ, this team-first guard is looking like a real leader in waiting for both club and country.
Meltem Yildizhan - Galatasaray
Many people have been waiting for the forward to post a breakthrough year during the these couple of seasons, so is the time now right for Yildizhan to take a leap forward? Exciting as a youth player for her country she has had her share of injuries, including a fractured hand at present which is keeping her out for two months. Fans are eager for this stop-start pattern to end and will hope she can finally discover some sustained momentum, because she certainly has the skills and ability.
Iliana Rupert - Bourges Basket
Likely to be the most prominently placed international player in the 2021 WNBA draft, Rupert has already shown what she can do in EuroLeague Women with Bourges Basket, which means that maybe she has already posted a breakthrough year. Or has she? Out injured since last October, her current club season has been a washout. So scheduled to be back in 2021, will this reset button see her impressing everyone even more? Athletic, strong and smart, the center already has a Women's EuroBasket Final Round on her resume and is going to get better. She is likely to record an Olympic debut too, later this year.
Sude Yilmaz - Galatasaray
Another Galatasaray player looking to push on, Yilmaz has more time on her side as she is still only 18-years-old. She is getting opportunities in the Turkish League and managed to get a few minutes in the first set of EuroLeague Women games. The guard has been superb for her country at youth level and made people sit up and take notice with her scoring ability. Much might boil down to how much her club and coaches are willing to give her chances to show what she can do, because there is little doubt she could breakout this year or next.
Veronika Vorackova - ZVVZ USK Praha
Perhaps similar to Rupert, there is a valid argument to suggest that Vorackova has already shown her hand and broken through. While that his true in respect of her having played at two Final Rounds with Czech Republic, it is only now that she seems to be making some bigger and meatier contributions on a ZVVZ USK Praha side that has become near perennial EuroLeague Women Final Four competitors. The 26 minutes per game during the first hub, in what is a real 'Group of Death' speaks volumes about what kind of 2021 we should expect from the burgeoning 21-year old.