Home » Belgian Cats won prizes: Emma Meesseman voted best European Player of the Year, Meziane best coach

Belgian Cats won prizes: Emma Meesseman voted best European Player of the Year, Meziane best coach

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Euroleague Women Final Four

Mersin –

Belgian basketball won prizes at the Euroleague Women’s Gala in Mersin, Turkey and in the context of the Final Four. Emma Meesseman (Fenerbahce Istanbul) was voted MVP (best European Player of the Year). Coach and Frenchman Rachid Meziane, national coach of the Belgian Cats but also of Villeneuve d’Ascq, was named Coach of the Year.

Emma Meesseman (30) also remains dominant in the individual prizes of international basketball. The 2020 Belgian Sportswoman of the Year was voted MVP (best European Player) of the 2023-24 Euroleague campaign for the second year in a row. Last year she led Turkish side Fenerbahce Istanbul to the first Euroleague title in club history. She is outstanding again this campaign and the West Flemish power forward has a staggering average of 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. She was of course also elected to the All Euroleague Women First Team (Team of the Year).

Meesseman is again outstanding in Turkey this year. — © NurPhoto via Getty Images

“It’s always special but people who know me know that I prefer the Euroleague title tomorrow with the team. But of course I appreciate it. It is always a recognition,” said the best player in Europe. She received another surprise from mother Sonja Tankrey (ex-Belgian Player of the Year). She brought a beautiful and special jacket on stage as a gift for Emma. “Emotional, but I’m not going to wear it. It’s way too hot here,” joked a visibly emotional Emma.

In 2018, Emma Meesseman was also named MVP of the Final Four. She then won the Euroleague title with the Russian Ekaterinburg. Tomorrow (Sunday 6 p.m. Belgian time) she can win her sixth European club title. She will play the final with Fenerbahce Istanbul against the French Villeneuve d’Ascq of fellow Belgian Cats Maxuella Lisowa and Bethy Mununga and national coach Rachid Meziane.

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Meziane best coach

The French coach of Villeneuve d’Ascq was named Coach of the Year of the Euroleague Women at the Gala in Mersin, Turkey. He led the French club to a first-ever Final Four. On Friday they won in the semi-final against Prague so that they will shine in a first final against Meesseman’s Fenerbahçe on Sunday. It is also an incredible period for Rachid Meziane (44). Last summer he led the Belgian Cats to their first gold medal at the European Championships. At the Sports Gala in Brussels he was elected Coach of the Year (all sports) and last week Meziane was elected Coach of the Year in the French LFB competition.

“This is a dream I don’t want to wake up from,” said Rachid Meziane at the Gala in Mersin, Turkey. “I would like to thank my ‘crazy team’, the entire staff, the board and especially our fans. Also my wife Stephanie and my two children. They are always there for me,” said an emotional Rachid Meziane. He also led Villeneuve d’Ascq to first place after the regular phase of the French LFB. Villeneuve d’Ascq is a big favorite for the French national title in the play-offs. With the Belgian Cats he qualified for the Olympic qualifying tournament in February and in the full Antwerp Sports Palace for the Olympic Games. In Paris, the Cats will soon be an outsider for a medal.

Rachid Meziane in conversation with Emma Meesseman at the Belgian Cats. Tomorrow they will be opponents in the Euroleague Women final. — © BELGA

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