Breanna Stewart: Basketball star continues comeback with MVP performance

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American basketball star Breanna Stewart has continued her impressive comeback from an achilles tear, earning a EuroLeague title and Final Four MVP trophy with UMMC Ekaterinburg at the weekend.

Stewart is one of the best basketball players around. She was the first overall pick for Seattle Storm in the 2016 WNBA Draft, earning the Rookie of the Year accolade at the end of the season. Her brilliant performances didn’t stop there. She was named WNBA MVP in 2018 and was an All-Star in 2017 and 2018.

On the international stage, Stewart led Team USA to gold at the 2018 Women's Basketball World Cup, where she was again named MVP.

Disaster struck in 2019, however. Stewart missed the whole of the WNBA season that year after tearing her achilles while playing for Dynamo Kursk in the EuroLeague final.

Comeback begins

The 26-year-old began her comeback in July 2020, showing little sign of being out of action for more than a year.

She was part of the Seattle Storm side which clinched the WNBA title last October. Her performances were so integral that she was named the WNBA Finals MVP.

In November 2020, Stewart then re-signed with UMMC Ekaterinburg for the 2020-21 European season.

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Back-to-back titles

Stewart continued with her winning ways once in Russia. Her side has just won its third consecutive EuroLeague title with an undefeated season.

Stewart averaged 14.5 points during the EuroLeague tournament, achieving seven rebounds and three assists. She got 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in the final against Spain’s Perfumerias Avenida in Istanbul. UMMC Ekaterinburg were eventual 78-68 winners.

As a result, Stewart was named the MVP of the EuroLeague Final Four, confirming she is well and truly over her achilles injury.

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Happy to be back

Stewart confirmed she was happy to have returned to form and winning ways after her injury. 

"It's always something that is in the back of my mind, about what happened at my last Final Four (with Dynamo Kursk) which was against UMMC when I got injured," she said after receiving the MVP accolade. 

"In fact I think that today is exactly two years to the day that I actually had surgery, so I am just feeling really happy to be back. Miguel [Mendez] is an incredible coach and it is an incredible club, so I really wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

"The MVP is always something extra and the icing on the cake, but the priority was to win. To be able to do so with Miguel and with this club is something I will never ever forget."

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