20 September, 2023
14 April, 2024
Locking it down: Who's the best defender in the league?
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Locking it down: Who's the best defender in the league?

MUNICH (Germany) - The voting for the EuroLeague Women Awards is in full swing and that includes an option for fans to select their Defensive Player of the Year. 

There are several esteemed ballers looking to follow in the footsteps of two-time award winner Alyssa Thomas, with Elizabeth Williams and Gabby Williams in contention to add a second award of their own.

Here's everything you need to know before you take part in the poll below. Who's getting your vote this year?


Yvonne Anderson (Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding)

Stats: 9.4 PPG / 4.3 APG / 3.6 RPG - 13.4 EFF

When you combine experience, skill. veteran know-how and quickness, there'a always a big chance that someone like Anderson is going to be a defensive asset and so it has proven again. She has really been a key figure for Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding as the continue the defense of their cherished title.  

Kennedy Burke (Villeneuve d'Ascq LM)

 Stats: 15.4 PPG / 5.8 RPG / 3.0 SPG / 2.6 APG - 16.5 EFF

Nobody has more steals per game in EuroLeague Women this season than Burke and this tells a pivotal story about why Villeneuve d'Ascq LM are celebrating that landmark first ever Final Four ticket. Her intensity and physicality at the defensive end has been a lightning rod for the French club's glorious run.

Maite Cazorla (ZVVZ USK  Praha)

Stats: 8.5 PPG / 5.2 APG / 2.2 RPG - 11.6 EFF  

The Spanish guard has brought the noise in the backcourt during her first campaign with Praha and it is her energy and intensity that is very much her trademark. As well as dishing out assists down one end, she has been relentless in her defensive work too, something which has fueled the Czech club's Final Four slot. 

Olivia Epoupa (Cukurova Basketbol Mersin) 

Stats: 3.3 PPG / 4.9 RPG / 2.5 APG / 2.1 SPG - 7.9 EFF

The arrival of Epoupa has given Cukurova Basketbol Mersin someone who's foot speed, quick hands and freakish rebounding ability for her size combine to make her a defensive force. There is no doubt that the Final Four host club might have missed out on the showpiece event if it had not been for the French guard.

Ezi Magbegor (ZVVZ USK Praha)

Stats: 13.6 PPG / 8.2 RPG / 2.4 BPG  - 18.8 EFF  

The sheer wing span, athleticism and mobility of Magbegor means that if she is defensively assigned to you, it's going to be a tough night. That's evidenced by the ZVVZ USK Praha star leading EuroLeague Women in blocks per game and throw in her rebounding ability at the defensive end and she is a massive asset. 

Emma Meesseman (Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding)

Stats: 17.7 PPG / 6.1 RPG / 4.6 APG / 1.9 SPG - 24.1 EFF

With so much focus on her breathtaking scoring, rebounding and passing stats, it's easy to overlook the fact that defensively, Meesseman is seriously tough. Like most top class ballers, last season's MVP does it at each end of the floor and it's been again the case with Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding.

Mariona Ortiz (Casademont Zaragoza)

Stats: 12.2 PPG / 4.5 APG / 4.4 RPG / 2.8 SPG - 11.2 EFF

One of the leading lights in a very special first ever season in the competition for Casademont Zaragoza, Ortiz produced a do-it-all campaign of which her defense was front and central. With the second most steals per game in the competition and some nice work on the glass, she was a difference-maker. 

Dragana Stankovic (KGHM BC Polkowice)

Stats: 9.3 PPG / 5.6 RPG / 1.5 BPG - 12.1 EFF

The Serbia national team forward has been playing some of the best basketball of her career with club and country lately, with her shot-blocking one of the main upsides. Third in the competition for blocks, she used that swatting ability and quick feet to maximum impact with KGHM BC Polkowice. 

Elizabeth Williams (Cukurova Basketbol Mersin)

Stats: 12.5 PPG / 8.0 RPG / 3.0 APG / 2.0 BPG - 19.5 EFF 

Even if the forward is unlikely to appear at the Final Four, Cukurova Basketbol Mersin owe Williams a huge chunk of gratitude for their presence at the event. Her powerful and consistently impressive displays in the Regular season were vital and only one player had more blocks per game in the competition. 

Gabby Williams (LDLC ASVEL Feminin)

Stats: 12.9 PPG / 6.0 RPG / 4.4 APG / 2.6 SPG - 18.0 EFF 

The forward has a long-standing reputation in the competition and with France as an outstanding defensive player and that was evident again. ASVEL missed her at the start of the season when injured and her return, including 2.0 steals per game, coincided with an uplift in the team's performances.