|American Michelle Maslowski has been playing in Europe the last five years. This past season she suited up with EuroCup Women side Dorsten. Maslowski will share some of her thoughts on playing in Europe in a her fibaeurope.com blog.|
Hello, let me introduce myself…
My name is Michelle Maslowski and I am a 28 year old American who has made a career playing professional basketball in Europe for the past 5 years. I have played in the countries of Luxembourg, Germany and France, and also have 3 years of EuroCup Women experience.
I am arguably known as a “pure scorer”, however, I feel that there are many more aspects to my game, which I continue to improve upon each year! Jokes aside, for further information about me, you can go to www.michelle-maslowski.com. Also, I have written blog articles for www.hoopnation.de and I am excited to get the chance to share my thoughts here on FIBA Europe.
Currently, I play for BG Dorsten, Germany. This past year, we were a participant in the FIBA EuroCup and our group consisted of Lille (France), Priolo (Italy) and Rhondda (Wales). Most memorable for me from this past year, was the road win in Priolo, Italy which helped propel us to the next round. In the second round, we met Vologda, Russia. Against this strong team, we had won the first game at home by 4 points, and then lost on the road, by much more. It was a tough one to take because the game was close until the fourth quarter and then it seemed like we ran out of gas. I will not blame the loss solely on the trip; however, the overnight train ride from Moscow to Volodga probably played a factor! I prefer to play for teams who participate also in European competition. Not only are these teams highly competitive, but you are given the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, which I really love and is one of the main reasons that I am here.
Despite the disappointing early exit from the EuroCup Women, we were able to have a lot of success in the regular season in Germany. We finished in 1st place and are currently in the playoffs. We begin the semi-final, best out of 3 series against Freiburg, on Sunday, April 15th. We have won the previous 2 meetings against this team and hope that everything runs as it should. The winner goes to the final, a best of 5 series. Success for the season is nothing short of the German Championship.
I am often asked about the strength of the German league. I would say the top 4 teams are very strong, with two participating in the EuroCup. Also, I believe that these teams could compete in Italy, Spain or France and be able to position themselves in the middle of the pack. However, due to the lack of money, most German clubs are somewhat weaker. In Germany, basketball, especially women’s basketball, takes a back seat to football in terms of financial and fan support from sponsors. However, it is not this way in all parts of Europe!
It pleases me very much to see that women’s basketball in Europe has done so well. A lot of talented women are given the opportunity to play on a high level and earn almost as much money as the men. The clubs in the EuroLeague are an example. It is always interesting to follow these “big dogs” of women’s basketball. Besides, I have always had the dream to play in this league and I hope that one day I get the opportunity to prove myself there.
This past year, the EuroLeague Final 4 was exciting. These elite teams of Bourges, Valencia and two Moscow teams had amazing All Star lineups. However, Spartak Moscow, loaded with superstars, was too much to handle and in the end I was not surprised that they won. Tina Thompson, Diana Taurasi, Tamika Whitmore and Sue Bird are arguably the best players in the world right now and to be able to have all 4 of them on your team is incredible.
It helps when two of the American players were able to get an Italian and Israeli passport! (Unfortunately, I was one generation too late to be eligible for a Polish passport.) I had the chance to play against Tamika Whitmore in France and let me just say that she is a smart, tough girl who can really put the ball in the basket. If Spartak is able to keep this money team together, they will probably take home the EuroLeague crown next year.