MUNICH - The number of women's basketball ambassadors for FIBA Europe has increased to five, after Amaya Valdemoro, Ilona Korstin and Natasa Kovacevic were each handed one of the prestigious roles.
There are now an array of legendary figures promoting the women's game, with former FIBA World Championship for Women MVP Hana Horakova and Les Bleues long-serving guard Edwige Lawson-Wade being joined by Valdemoro and Korstin.
Spanish ace Valdemoro retired last year with a gold medal hanging around her neck after being crowned a EuroBasket Women champion, bringing down the curtain on the most decorated and celebrated career of any Spanish women's player.
Beginning at EuroBasket Women in 1995, she stepped out at a staggering nine EuroBasket Women Final Rounds, appeared in four FIBA World Championship for Women tournaments and at two Olympic Games. Valdemoro also enjoyed 14 campaigns in EuroLeague Women at club level.
Korstin continues to be revered for her achievements in a Russian national team vest and around Europe, hanging up her shoes last year after a seventh consecutive EuroBasket Women campaign and major tournament number 13 for her country.
She stepped out three times at the Olympic Games and the same number of times at the FIBA World Championship for Women. Korstin won a number of medals with Russia, also landed titles for several of the biggest clubs in Europe, before moving into a role off the floor with the VTB United League.
"Valdemoro and Korstin were inspirational role models on the court and now through their commitment to being FIBA Europe Women Ambassadors, they can continue to inspire off it," said FIBA Europe Acting President, Cyriel Coomans.
Kovacevic meanwhile has been named a FIBA Europe Youth Ambassador. The talented Serbian forward had her career ended prematurely when she lost the lower part of her leg in the tragic Uni Gyor traffic accident last year.
Showing an amazing amount of courage in adversity, her stoic approach to dealing with her life-changing injury has been incredibly inspiring for many people.
FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak said: "The five ambassadors have been carefully selected based not only on their outstanding and immaculate playing careers, but their ability to bring out the best in those that are fortunate enough to cross paths with them.
"The ambassadors will be actively engaging and promoting women's basketball in Europe in order to assist FIBA Europe in lifting female participation in women's basketball on the continent."
Valdemoro and Korstin will carry out their first official duties at the forthcoming EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Ekaterinburg, Russia during April.