The top 10 signings heading into the EuroLeague Women Regular Season
MUNICH (Germany) - All clubs have been active during the off-season looking to bolster their EuroLeague Women rosters for the new season, but which signings have turned heads the most?
Here are just 10 of the biggest and most exciting signings of recent months.
Breanna Stewart - Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding
Regularly described as the best player in the female game, the question of when and if Fenerbahce will ever win that elusive first title might be answered by Stewart. Is she the missing piece of the puzzle that the Turkish juggernauts have been trying to solve for so long? She could be, since her leadership, skills, clutch play and experience at the elite level means Fenerbahce has an amazing player built to win and built for the biggest moments. And, the last time she was in Istanbul she was the FInal Four MVP!
Alba Torrens - Valencia BC
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Another former UMMC Ekaterinburg superstar and a multiple EuroLeague Women winner, this signing by Valencia is absolutely massive. It looks a great fit on paper, with Torrens returning to her native Spain to play after many years in Russia. She will no doubt appreciate the warmer climate off the court, while on the floor, she will certainly heat things up. The fans will love her and she will repay them by making those great decisions in transition, taking and making big-time shots and always playing with a smile on her face.
Yvonne Anderson - Tango Bourges Basket
Bourges had a superb 2021-22 season by winning the EuroCup Women title, but it was also the end of a chapter as they made moves to rebuild ahead of their re-entry to EuroLeague Women - a competition they are synonymous with. The acquisition of Anderson looks a smart one. She has been excellent in the past 18 months or so for Serbia and was on the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 All-Second Team in Sydney. Her pressuring, quickness, smarts and all-around balling attributes will really help the French side.
Iliana Rupert - Virtus Segafredo Bologna
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One player who departed that Bourges team and was indeed the EuroCup Women Final Four MVP was Rupert. The young center was also crowned a WNBA champion with the Las Vegas Aces and seems to have so much still untapped potential. A towering presence when she is on top of her game, it will be fascinating to see if she can add even more consistency and dominate opponents on a regular basis. Certainly she feels like a breath of fresh air for the Italian club and feeds into their mission of making a splash on their debut.
Evelyn Akhator - Basket Landes
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Basket Landes have been punching way above their weight in EuroLeague Women and if they want to continue to over achieving then maybe Akhator will keep their streak going. The powerful Nigerian has arguably been one of the most underrated ballers around. She will give Landes a tough edge in the paint and from a rebounding perspective alone, Akhator is an absolute beast on that glass. With her in the team, nobody will be able to bully Landes at either end of the floor and that is a great foundation for the new campaign.
Valeriane Vukosavljevic - ZVVZ USK Praha
After a couple of seasons with Basket Landes and now back from maternity leave, it's a return to the Czech capital for the French winger and it looks like paying big dividends for both player and club. Vukosavljevic knows Coach Hejkova well from her previous time with Praha, one which included a Final Four appearance. She will be able to express herself, play with some freedom and gives the team a big scoring boost, since she is hard to stop when she hits a high gear. It's great competition for Maria Conde too.
Briann January - CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld
The big-spending Mersin look to have made a super smart signing by bringing the guard to their team. She landed in Turkey as a reigning EuroLeague Women champion, having been a driving force behind underdogs Sopron Basket lifting the precious silverware back in April. Her defensive work and stone cold composure in crunch time will give her new team a nice edge and with plenty of scorers around her, she can stick to pulling the strings and using her experience to take Mersin deep in this season's competition.
Ezi Magbegor - Sopron Basket
It's an eagerly awaited EuroLeague Women debut for the Australian center who comes to Europe for the first time and arrives having helped her country take a bronze medal at the recent FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. While she maybe didn't hit her highest level consistently in Sydney, she still produced some excellent play, including equalling the all-time game-high blocks record. She was also on fire in the WNBA and her mobility, athleticism and shot-blocking ability will get Sopron fans on the edge of their seats.
Rhyne Howard - Beretta Famila Schio
Another debutante in the competition, Howard comes to EuroLeague Women with a big reputation. That's because of her outstanding work with the USA national teams, in the NCAA with the University of Kentucky and most recently after pouring in more than 16 points per game in the WNBA for the Atlanta Dream. Versatile and with a nose for knowing when to make good things happen, her scoring punch is a real boost for Schio, but you can expect her to contribute right through the different stats categories.
Emma Meesseman - Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding
Another top class signing which surely cements Fenerbahce as the runaway favorites to win this season's Final Four, Meesseman is another baller who knows what success tastes like. A former Final Four MVP at UMMC Ekaterinburg, the Belgian star is always ready to take over if needed or play for the team. Smart, a great scorer and passer, what a superb acquisition she is. The only downside is that she suffered an injury at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup so her start with the juggernauts will be delayed.