With 18 pts (including 22 only on match 5) and 5 rebounds average per game, moreover starting each time on the bench, Emma Meesseman could only win the cup of these Finals. Do not think that the woman hovered after the award ceremony last night.
" I do not care about this MVP title "reacted the center-player (1.93 m):" Me, what matters is the collective trophy, otherwise I would not play basketball. We play as a team! "
Emma Meesseman starts basketball at 5 years old. At 16, she started in the 1st Belgian Division, and a year later, she is already MVP of the championship. With the Russians of Ekaterinburg, she won 3 Euro-Leagues. And at 26, she already has 5 seasons WNBA in the legs.
" Emma is an exceptional player coupled with a wonderful girl " Explain Pierre Cornia, assistant coach Belgian Cats of which Emma is the pillar. " What strikes first is his attitude: it is simple in his basketball as in his daily life. She is humble with people and simple in her game: everything is sober and efficient, she shines with her intelligence and her playing game. The proof: during these Finals, she accepted without worry to start matches on the bench . All the players are not like her! "
Remarkably also, Emma Meesseman has never been to one of these top sports schools, which usually structure Flemish sport training policy. She completed her normal schooling, before suspending her Physical Education studies to pursue her basketball career.
"Emma is a natural talent "continues Pierre Cornia:" She has what is called in jargon 'touch ' : it has the sense of the ring and can execute all the movements. For the opponent, it's complicated because you never know what she will do as her repertoire is wide. She is never individualistic either, she makes others better. "
Emma Meesseman has something to keep her: her mother was also Belgian International and won 7 Belgian Cups, an individual record for a Belgian player. His physio dad also had the foresight to limit his workouts to preserve his body and not burn it too soon. As a result, Meesseman is very rarely injured, despite his highly exposed position.
" Emma learned basketball very young, before having a suitable physical potential "continues Pierre Cornia." Today, she strives to erase this handicap. Emma always wants to progress … and she is still 10 years old to do it! When we are in the base five of the last World Championships and we are MVP finals WNBA, we are already one of the best players-centers in the world! "
Shy to the natural, Emma Meesseman is released by the sport. Because its great particularity is also to be … deaf to 50%, and of the two ears! She plays with her hearing aid and learned to read on the lips.
" I was born with this handicap "explains the player:" I hear a little but I always look on the face of the teammates or the coach. And if I do not hear, then I ask. I must also pay attention to my camera, because with the nudges in the racket, it can do very badly. But I never really had a problem. "
And if Meesseman has learned to handle the pressure, remain calm and frees often in the moments of tension of a match, it is also perhaps precisely because of this handicap … which increases its concentration.
" I also see it with my daughter, who plays basketball and is also deaf "explains Pierre Cornia." They are a little in their bubble during the game and play less undergoing disturbances related to noise or atmosphere. In fact, they turn their disability into an asset. "
Passionate about drawing and Harry Potter's books (which she devoured several times each time), a great follower … her father's chicory gratin, Emma Meesseman will have to find new sports goals. Bronze medalist at the Euro 2017 and 4th at the 2018 World Cup with the Cats, she is now aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
" The Cats with or without Emma, it's a big difference "concludes Cornia:" She really drills on the other players: she transmits her energy, her mind and her confidence. It's a real star … but without the extravagant behaviors that often go with it. If there were only stars like her, the sport would be much easier and pleasant to manage! "