Hi, my name is Andreas Person. Welcome to the first installment of my blog on fibaeurope.com!
Let me start by saying a few things about myself. One of my goals as a basketball player was to someday finally help promote a Swedish national team to Division A and of course get to play there.
I finally accomplished the first part last summer in the U18 European Championship Division B in Bosnia . That was really big for Swedish basketball because this was the first time a Men's youth team was going to play in Division A.
But that was my last year as an U18 player and unfortunately I couldn't participate in this year's U18 European Championship in Lithuania. Being part of the team that achieved promotion without actually getting to play in Division A wasn't enough for me; I really wanted it so much.
This summer, in Austria, we had an U20 team with 7 players from that U18 team that played in Bosnia so we knew what it took for us as a group and as individuals to make it to the next stage. We knew it wasn't going to be easy but we felt confident and we knew that we could beat every opponent there, if we worked hard for 40 minutes.
We made it to the semi-finals, just where we wanted to be. The semi-final game was against Poland, we had a lot of respect for this team. They were very strong.
We played one of our best games in the tournament and we beat them by 10 points. So finally I'll get to play Division A basketball!
It feels great, I must say. Now I have a whole season to get better and improve my game, so I can be as good as possible when the time comes for the U20 European Championship 2011.
I now play for a Slovenian club called Helios Domzale. After playing for 4 years in the Swedish top league, I felt that it was about time to leave Sweden.
I didn't know anything about the Slovenian league or the country itself before I decided to move here.
I arrived here on August 11th, so I've been here a while now. So far I'm having a nice time. The guys on the team are great and the coaches as well.
Slovenia is of course different from Sweden so adapting to this environment took me a little while, both on and off the court. Practice is much harder here than what I was used to in Sweden.
We have two training sessions a day, just like in Sweden, but the tempo here is higher and the game is more physical. The physical game is really something I'm trying to get used to.When I'm not in practice I like to just chill and take it easy in my apartment. I watch a lot of movies and TV-serials and I keep in touch with my family and friends back home.
I haven't missed home as much as I thought I would before I left Sweden. I'm getting to know some new people and spend time with some of my teammates, when we get the chance.
We practice twice a day almost every day of the week, so rest is very important to me.
The start of the season is just around the corner, we have little less than three weeks till the Slovenian League starts but before that we have to focus on the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round tie.
We are playing a team from the Czech Republic. BK Prostejov is one the top Czech clubs and they have a good, strong team. Their roster includes two Americans, one Canadian, one Polish guy, three Lithuanians and the rest are Czechs.
They've basically kept the same team for three seasons now, so it's going to be very hard.
This year we are pretty much a whole new team, with a mix of young and some older, more experienced players. Our average age is 21. We are starting at home, so that is a small advantage, having the home crowd supporting us.
The first game is on Thursday 29 September and the second game is away, next Wednesday 6 October. I'm looking forward to these games and expect them to be hard for the entire 40 minutes. Hopefully we'll go through!
See you next time