October 12, 1980 |
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|WNBA draft||2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Rockers|
|2004–2005||New York Liberty|
|2007–2009||WBC CSKA Moscow|
|2008–2009||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|2011–2012||Ros Casares Valencia|
|2015–2016||Royal Castors Braine|
|2016||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at WNBA.com|
Ann Hilde Willy Wauters (born October 12, 1980) is a Belgian professional basketball player who is currently a free agent in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and playing overseas in Turkey for AGÜ Spor. Her primary position is center.
Born in Sint-Gillis-Waas, Belgium, Wauters began playing basketball at age 12. Her international professional basketball career began immediately after high school. She speaks Dutch, French and English. She wears jersey No. 12 because of her birthdate.
Wauters was drafted first overall in the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Cleveland Rockers at the age of 19, becoming the youngest player in the league at the time. She was also the first Belgian-born player in the WNBA. When the team selected her, she was considered a project and raw talent. Having only played basketball for 7 years prior to the draft, Wauters quickly blended in with the big-name centers.
In her rookie season, Wauters was a reserve on the Rockers' roster, averaging 6.7 ppg off the bench. The Rockers were second in the East with a 17-15 record, and were one win away from advancing to the Finals, but were defeated in 3 games by the New York Liberty in the Conference Finals.
After her second season, Wauters sat out the 2003 WNBA season in order to rest. The Rockers folded in 2003 and Wauters was moved to the New York Liberty the following year in a dispersal draft. She played two seasons for the Liberty before taking another break from the WNBA in 2006. During her time with the Liberty, she was selected to play in the 2005 WNBA All-Star Game as a reserve.
In 2008, Wauters returned to the WNBA and was selected by the Atlanta Dream in the expansion draft.
On April 9, 2008, Wauters, along with Morenike Atunrase and a 2009 second round draft pick, was traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars for Camille Little, Chioma Nnamaka, and the Silver Stars' first round pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft. During her first season with the Silver Stars, she averaged a career-high 14.7 ppg as the team's starting center. Playing alongside Becky Hammon, the Silver Stars were also a championship contender in 2008, having finished first in the West with a 24-10 record and advancing all the way to the Finals but would get swept by the Detroit Shock.
Wauters played for the Silver Stars once again in 2009, but decided not to rejoin the team in 2010 to take another break; she also did not join the team in 2011 as she became pregnant. In 2012, Wauters signed with the Seattle Storm. Wauters did not rejoin the Storm for the 2013 WNBA season in order to spend time with her family. After a 3-year break from the WNBA, Wauters signed with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016 and won her first WNBA Championship with the team after defeating the Minnesota Lynx in the Finals.
Throughout her basketball career, Wauters has gained more overseas experience than any other female player. Prior to her WNBA career, Wauters played in France for USV Olympic. After her rookie season in the WNBA, she played with the team for four more years during the off-season and won four consecutive championships. In the 2005-06 off-season, Wauters played in South Korea for VBM-SGAU and won a championship. From 2007 to 2009, Wauters played two off-seasons in Russia for CSKA Moscow. In the 2009-10 off-season, Wauters played for UMMC Ekaterinburg and won a championship with the team. In the 2011-12 off-season, Wauters played in Spain for Ros Casares Valencia, winning two championships with the team. In the 2012-13 off-season, Wauters played in Turkey for Galatasaray S.K. and won a Turkish Cup with the team. In the 2013-14 off-season, Wauters returned to UMMC Ekaterinburg and won her second Russian League championship with the team. In the 2014-15 off-season, Wauters played in France for ESB Villeneuve-d'Ascq, winning a EuroCup championship with the team. In the 2015-16 off-season, Wauters played in her home country for Royal Castors Braine in the first portion of the off-season and spent the second portion of the off-season playing for Galatasaray S.K. As of May 2016, Wauters signed with AGÜ Spor for the 2016-17 off-season.
WNBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game||RPG||Rebounds per game|
|APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game||BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|TO||Turnovers per game||FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|Bold||Career high||League leader|
|Career||9 years, 5 teams||220||136||24.0||.536||.358||.759||5.0||1.3||0.7||0.7||2.0||9.9|
|Career||6 years, 4 teams||26||15||23.8||.451||.067||.784||4.3||1.3||0.5||0.8||1.3||8.7|
In November 2010, Wauters' management announced she was 3 months pregnant with her first child, adding that this would not mean the end of her career. After the birth of her child, Wauters signed with Ros Casares Valencia in Spain. Her wife, Lot Wielfaert, was also pregnant and gave birth a month before Wauters.
Awards and honors
- EuroLeague Women: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2012
- FIBA Women's World League: 2004
- Ligue Féminine de Basketball: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Russian Women's Basketball Premier League: 2010
- Liga Femenina de Baloncesto: 2012
- Women's Korean Basketball League: 2006
- Coupe de France: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- Russian Cup: 2007, 2008, 2010
- Turkish Cup: 2013
- Belgian Championship: 2016
- Women's National Basketball Association: 2016
- European player of year: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008
- EuroLeague Final Four MVP: 2001, 2002, 2004
- Best foreign player in France: 2001
- Best center of European championship in Greece: 2003
- WNBA All-Star 2005
- "WNBA: Silver Stars again make splash with draft-day trade".[permanent dead link]
- Silver Stars Center Ann Wauters Will Not Play In WNBA In 2010 Archived April 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Echtgenote van Ann Wauters: 'Samen zwanger zijn is heerlijk'". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). November 16, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2012.