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Presenting your All-Star Five of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2029
NEWCASTLE (Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide) - It's another big success and tick in the box for the latest flagship FIBA tournament as the curtain falls on the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2029.
Just use your imagination - perhaps think of it as a twist on the #10YearChallenge currently sweeping social media. Oh and you will have to forgive me for using current photos - they might all look a little older in a decade!
Anyway, it is 2029 and a few things have changed in global female hoops with the inevitable advancement of athleticism, the glut of do-it-all small forwards fighting it out for roster spots and coaches realizing that specialists (and especially pass-first point guards and pure shooters) are now like gold dust.
The voting by fans who have buttons in their seats at the arena are combined with those votes cast remotely from around the globe and the All-Star Five has been named.
Nika Muhl - Croatia
Perhaps the most controversial choice, since surprise tournament attendees Croatia only just scraped into the Quarter-Finals. But, it has been impossible to overlook the EuroLeague Women guard after the 28-year old showed her qualities at both ends of the floor with 6.2 assists per game which was the best of the tournament and 3.5 steals per game. As usual, she also enjoyed playing alongside her younger sister Hana at the event,
Reka Dombai - Hungary
The rise in the last few years of Hungary on the European and world stage thanks to the glut of rising stars that emerged around a decade ago has been based around players like Dombai. She was disappointed not to make the Final, but was a driving force in catapulting her nation to successive bronze medals. She top scored for her team with 16.5 points per game and added 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds. She just pipped teammate Barbara Angyal whose three-point shooting impressed.
Olairy Kosu - Russia
The 23-year-old is now firmly living up to the hype as arguably the most athletic player Russia have been able to field in the history of the competition. In her second Final Round appearance, she just managed to squeeze out Raisa Musina as the second Russia player in the prestigious lineup. Fans were impressed with her amazing shot-blocking ability at the defensive end and also her quickness, which was the perfect foil to the strength of Vadeeva. Rising star Kosu, who will now make her WNBA debut, finished with a near tournament double-double of 14 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, also swatting 2.1 shots per outing.
Iliana Rupert - France
Nothing much has changed for France in these past years, with Rupert still the leading figure of a team that continues to challenge for titles. But they just can't quite find the killer instinct, flair and imagination needed to take the extra step. That is harsh on Rupert who has been sensational and finished with 21 points, 9 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks per outing - leaving her best for last, with a scorching appearance in the Final as France took silver.
Maria Vadeeva - Russia
The veteran and MVP of the tournament is unwilling to confirm if it will be her last FIBA Women's EuroBasket appearance. Journalists think it would be the perfect time to end on a high with Russia having taken their crown behind the brilliance of 'The Terminator'. Knocking out Spain in the last eight was vital and the competition double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds per game was achieved at 58% shooting from the floor from the WNBA and EuroLeague Women star. In what is the eighth appearance at the event for the 31-year-old. It is also her second title, with Russia having previously won back in 2021.
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