By Paul Nilsen
|Helena Sverrisdóttir gained valuable experience playing in EuroLeague Women with Good Angels Kosice|
LEARNING FROM KOSICE
"Before going to Good Angels, I had been a leader on many of the teams I had been on and that's the role I know and like," claimed the 25-year-old.
"By moving to Miskolc, I knew I would have a bigger role and maybe be one of the leaders here and so I'm excited about that.
"We have some young girls and also players that haven't played EuroLeague Women, so I hope I can bring experience in the big games in the Middle European League (MEL) and EuroCup Women.
"I see our potential, but we have to work hard to become the team I believe we can be.
"If we stay healthy and stay together, I think we can do some good things."
She added, "It's always hard playing bigger budget teams, but we can surprise and in Eurocup Women our goal will be getting out of the group stage. With good preparation, we can do it."
Rather fittingly, Sverrisdottir will get to play against her former club in league action, having left with many valuable lessons learned and cherished memories.
She confirmed, "I had great two years in Kosice. The biggest thing for me was maturing mentally. I learned the ins and outs of the professional game.
"When playing in the rather isolated Iceland and then at college, you are kind of in a bubble, but in Kosice I experienced different things off the court which will help in the future.
"On the court, we played at the highest stage and made it to the semis of the EuroLeague Women Final Eight - a great experience.
"That was definitely the high," continued Sverrisdottir.
"Also winning the Slovak Championship both years. It was fun being a part of ten Slovakian titles in a row.
"The (few) lows were probably more on a personal level, if I wasn't playing well or wasn't getting the playing time I felt I deserved."
LOSING ONE OF HER BIGGEST SUPPORTERS
The biggest huge low came when Sverrisdottir was left deeply affected by the tragic passing of her compatriot, former FIBA Europe President, Olafur Rafnsson.
"Mr Rafnsson was an amazing man and it is still sad to think that he is gone," she reflected.
"When I heard the news, I went into shock. My thoughts went straight out to his family as I know his kids and wife well and I couldn't believe that they had just lost their father and husband.
"I was really in a state of disbelief for a while, because I had enjoyed so many great conversations with him and he believed in me and was always cheering me on whenever we spoke.
"The basketball world lost a great leader that day, and our little community in Iceland lost a great man.
"I still remember the things we discussed earlier this summer, the thoughtful and inspiring things he said to me which I will now carry with me for years to come."
|"My heart is a bit scattered around the world, but Iceland will always have the biggest part of it."|
LOVE FOR HER HOMELAND AND SPORTS
Sverrisdottir may not play for a basketball power, but that does not dilute her passion for her homeland on and off the court - one of the reasons she was so admired by President Rafnsson.
"Yes, this past summer we had about three weeks with the national team and I played in the Games of the Small States of Europe," said the player.
"I love representing my country and playing with some of the girls I grew up playing with in Iceland. Because of resource issues, we don't get many opportunities to play for the national team, so we cherish every chance we get to play together for our country.
"I also love to travel in the summer and especially going back to Texas and seeing my second family there as well as some friends from college.
"This summer I also got into biking and tennis and had a blast.
"Before deciding to play basketball I tried any sport offered, such as swimming, skiing, karate, handball, girl scouts, and soccer - which I ended up playing for eight years, before solely focusing on basketball.
"I'm a 'sportsaholic' and love what it brings to the community. I can't ever picture myself doing anything that doesn't include sport in some way.
"I love traveling too and haven't decided where I will end up living at the end of my career. My heart is a bit scattered around the world, but Iceland will always have the biggest part of it," Sverrisdottir concluded.