The layoff period between the end of the WNBA season and the beginning of play overseas in Europe, China, Australia and the Middle East is always short. But with the WNBA season’s delayed ending, that period was essentially non-existent for many WNBA stars. Although they’re coming off 2 and a half months of non-stop basketball in the ‘Wubble’, young WNBA players are thriving with their teams overseas. Here are some dominant Eurobasket performances you might have slept on (or slept through) the last few weeks:
Han Xu Dominates the Paint For Xinjiang
Han Xu, starting center for the Xinjiang Golden Deer (great name) and New York Liberty prospect, showed what she can do with her astonishing 6’9 frame in play against Tianjin the other night.
Hey, @nyliberty fans — Han Xu (@hanxu_521) put in WORK today, scoring 33 points and securing 12 boards, while also totaling three steals and four blocks while her squad, the Xinjiang Magic Deer, doubled up Tianjin 112-56. #LibertyLoud #WNBA #WNBAOverseashttps://t.co/VzCHHCIvrG pic.twitter.com/xFP1HzU9bF— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) October 22, 2020
Xu owned the post, scoring 33 points on 13-20 shooting while grabbing 12 rebounds. On the other end of the floor, she had 3 steals and 4 blocks (only one foul too!) on the way to helping her team hold Tianjin to just 56 points in the win.
Han Xu sat out the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus, so it’s hard to estimate how much this performance indicates with respect to what she’s capable of when she returns to the Liberty. But if she can keep putting on muscle and working on her post presence, the rest of the league is gonna start having nightmares about Han Xu.
Ruthy Hebard Puts Up 20 and 20
Over in Turkey, Oregon alumna and first-year Chicago Sky player Ruthy Hebard is showing flashes of stardom for her squad, Nesibe. On Tuesday, Ruthy notched a 20/20, with 24 points and 23 rebounds in the win over Kayseri. Hebard cleaned the glass on both ends of the floor, with 10 of her 23 rebounds coming on the offensive end.
Oyuncumuz Ruthy Hebard, maçı 24 sayı, 23 ribaunt ve 3 asist ile tamamladı#nesibeaydinokulları #nesibeaydıneğitimkurumları #nesibeaydinbasketbol #herbalifenutrition#ruthyhebard pic.twitter.com/e5oW8TbWYS— Nesibe Aydın Spor Kulübü (@NA_Basketbol) October 20, 2020
We didn’t get to see Ruthy Hebard in extended WNBA minutes this season, as the Sky had a deep bench and it’s typically head coach James Wade’s policy to hold rookies to limited minutes for developmental purposes. Looks like she learned a lot this season, and has stayed ready to provide a leading role on offense when called on.
Bella Alarie Notches 29 In Duel With Fellow Dallas Wing Ty Harris
Bella Alarie and Tyasha Harris were both rookies on the Dallas Wings squad that made a surprise run for the playoffs this season. Overseas, they got a taste of playing each other earlier this month, engaging in a scoring duel that saw Ty score 19 as Alarie and her squad, Galatasaray, prevailed behind Bella’s 29 points on hot 10 of 14 shooting.
Alarie added 11 rebounds and 2 steals in the win, a dominant overall performance. A solid rotation role player for the Wings this season, it’s interesting to get a glimpse at what Bella Alarie can do with the ball in her hands a bit more.
Satou Sabally Drops 26 On Ruthy Hebard
Another Dallas Wing rookie in Turkey, Satou Sabally joined Fenerbahce this season, one of the most successful women’s basketball teams in Europe. Earlier this month, Sabally put on a show against her college teammate at Oregon, Ruthy Hebard of Nesibe.
Hebard and Sabally were clearly motivated going against each other, scoring 23 and 26 respectively on equally deadly shooting from the floor, 9 makes on 13 shots. Sabally also picked up 13 rebounds, and the win, with Fenerbahce delivering Nesibe their only loss of the season so far.
If you’re interested in watching some oversees basketball and getting in on seeing these young WNBA studs take over games, the Turkish Basketball Federation streams league games on their YouTube channel.
Stats courtesy of Eurobasket.com. Article image courtesy of Galatasaray SK.