MUNICH (FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year) - On the strength of a mesmerizing performance at EuroBasket Women 2007, where she led Latvia to the semifinals, Anete JEKABSONE-ZOGOTA has been named the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year.
In a vote by fans and a panel of basketball experts from 25 countries, the Dynamo Moscow forward edged out Amaya Valdemoro of Spain for the honour while Maria Stepanova of EuroBasket Women gold medallists Russia finished third.
Jekabsone-Zogota averaged 17.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Latvia, despite struggling with an injury that saw her play only 18 minutes in the bronze medal game with Belarus. She was her team's clear leader and would eventually be named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts.
She was impressive on club level as well; leading Dynamo Moscow to the EuroCup Women 2007 crown with 15.3 points and 2.1 steals per game. Dynamo made the move to EuroLeague Women this year and Jekabsone- Zogota has not missed a beat, leading her team in points, assists and steals while helping them to a spot in the Eighth-Final.
"Anete Jekabsone-Zogota was really one of the shining stars of EuroBasket Women and it comes as no surprise that she has been given this honour." Commented FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.
"Latvia were a lot of fun to watch and she was one of the main reasons," added Secretary General Nar Zanolin "She is good in so many aspects of the game but it's her leadership on the court that is really impressive."
Second place finisher Amaya Valdemoro was the MVP of EuroBasket Women, leading Spain to a spot in the championship game where they suffered a narrow defeat to Russia and third place finisher Stepanova.
Belgian Ann Wauters finished fourth in a close battle with Stepanova, after leading all players at EuroBasket Women in points and finishing third in rebounding. She also features for EuroLeague Women powerhouse CSKA Moscow where she has led her team to an unblemished record thus far.
1 Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, Latvia
2 Amaya Valdemoro, Spain
3 Maria Stepanova, Russia
4 Ann Wauters, Belgium
5 Anna Montanana, Spain
6 Ilona Korstin, Russia
7 Agnieszka Bibrzycka, Poland
8 Natallia Marchanka, Belarus
9 Eva Viteckova, Czech Republic
10 Yelena Leuchanka, Belarus
11 Sandrine Gruda, France
photos Janos Schmidt