Janel McCarville knows what it takes to win a EuroLeague Women title and she brings us the exclusive inside track on her Beretta-Famila Schio teammates ahead of their appearance at the Final Eight in Istanbul later this month:
|Janel Mc Carville has a good word for each of her Beretta-Famila teammates and says they came together as a team at just the right moment|
Hi EuroLeague Women fans! It has been quite an up and down year here in Schio with so many challenges to overcome. We have not quite been on the same page as a team until recently.
Leading up to the games against Perfumerias Avenida, we really started to come together as a team. With time, we realised what we needed to do both as a team and also individually.
Obviously every team starts the year trying to reach the Finals, but the fact that we have accomplished it is such a great feeling. We have grown as a team and we are ready to head to Istanbul to face another great challenge. Now, here's a little bit about those who will join me in trying to meet that challenge!
CHIARA CONSOLINI - 'Sconsi' is a great young player that has so much upside and someone I try to push on a daily basis to be better. I really feel she will have a big impact in Italian women's basketball in the future because of how talented she is. She just needs to realize it and use it rather than sitting by and watching at times. She is very similar to Laura Macchi in body type! 'Scons' can and will light up a room with her laughter. She always makes me smile with her actions and reactions.
IVANA JALCOVA - Having played with 'Jalci' in Slovakia, I knew she was going to be a great addition to this team. With great size at the point guard position, she can see over defenders with ease and makes her pull up that much easier. With the ability to knock down the three or hit the open person in stride, she is a hard guard for any defender. 'Jalci' off the court is a basketball/internet nut. We are always sending videos back and forth to each other to help pass the downtime.
CHIARA PASTORE - Sadly we lost 'Chiaretta' to a shoulder injury but before this, she was really coming into her own. She worked hard this summer on things that would improve her as a point guard and came back ready for the season. She really improved her passing ability. The point-guard position is difficult for a young player at times, but Chiara was a good fit for us. We were all very upset when we lost her! She is missed!
LIRON COHEN - There's no way we would be in the Final Eight if 'Lee'/ 'Le-Ron'/ 'Le-Roy' hadn't played the way she did against Salamanca in Round 2. When she brings her game she is so hard to guard. She is a great three-point shooter off the bounce and with an ability to hit the open person when needed. In the locker-room, you can tell which spot is 'Lees' because of her OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder)! Everything is folded, her shoes are perfectly straight and the bench corners are lined up according to the heater position.
|You might watch Liron Cohen and think she is a very disciplined player, but that doesn't even come close to how she is off the court, says McCarville|
MAJA ERKIC - She's usually going to shot fake and put it on the ground, but when she doesn't - believe she is going to put it up. I love her mindset which is a true shooters mindset of 'if it doesn't go in first time, keep shooting because its bound to go in at some point!'. She always has her game face on and in that aspect, it's the same face if we are up by twenty points, down by twenty points or tied with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. Maja makes the best cucumber tomato and feta salad I have ever tasted by the way and it's her dish to bring when she comes to our barbecues.
RAFFAELLA MASCIADRI - 'Mashu' has a beautiful, and I mean beautiful, jumper. It reminds me of Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) when she lets it go. It doesn't matter if the defender has a hand in her face or not, Masha is gonna put it up and I'm watching it go in. She's a great teammate who loves the game and always has a smile on her face. She had such little muscle that I taught her how to make muscles and pointed her to the weights room. You kind of have to see it in person to appreciate it!
EMANUELA RAMON - She's a hard worker who pushes us to get better. She has a wickedly good sweeping hook-shot that is unblockable - believe me! When her number is called, she is always ready to do what is needed for the win. We have team-issued clothes for practice, but mornings are not mandatory. So she pieces together some of the most vibrant articles of clothing. She rivals me for the best morning dresser award!
AIJA BRUMERMANE - 'Bruuu' has a soft touch around the basket and with her size, she makes scoring in the paint difficult. For me and a couple others, I would say 'Bru' really lightens the mood with her actions and jokes. She always has a smile and makes practices fun. She also makes some of the best deserts you can find - in fact she's like our own personal neighbourhood bakery.
JENIFER NADALIN - 'Nadi' has added a couple moves to her game this year, having improved her jump-shot and low-post fade-away. She runs the court well and is a great help-side defender. 'Nadi' is another player who will do what it takes to win in any way possible. She is a very unselfish player and always puts the team first. She can't go anywhere without her puppy, Geeg. Everyone loves Geeg but I'm not gonna lie, if I see her out then Geeg is the first one to get a hello greeting - but I do still like you Jen!
CHERYL FORD - 'Cheeks' is not so intimidating by just looking at her, but get her in a uniform and wait until tip-off and she will let you know she is gonna do everything she can to win. She's a great rebounder even though she doesn't have great size and she works hard for position, playing with amazing passion. She has been a great teammate Of course quite a change from all the years of us having to go up against each other! Over the course of the year, 'Cheeks' has been taking Canadian lessons from Jen and if I do say so myself, she has gotten pretty darn good, "dontcha knooooow!'
LAURA MACCHI - 'Chicca' is a very impressive player with her size, and by that I mean she is able to shoot the three over her defenders if they are smaller than her, or get to the basket if they are crowding her. She can finish at the rim when she is in the paint. She might need a kick in the rear to get going sometimes, but that doesn't matter cause I am right there to give it to her! I love playing with her and I love what she brings to the table skills-wise.
COACHING STAFF AND... JANEL
Janel McCarville on Head Coach MAURIZIO LASI "'Mauri' came from coaching men so to start, I don't think he really knew how to handle us women. He has learned and adjusted as anyone would. It's been fun with him because he listens and adapts to what players need and want to run. He's a great coach who just wants to win!"
Janel McCarville on Assistant GIUSTINO ALTOBELLI: "He's always willing to spend extra time with players wanting to shoot! He's always the ref in practice and if technicals were handed out in practice I'm sure I would average about three per day, ha, ha! I'm always giving him a hard time but in the end, we walk off with a smile - well, usually!"
Raffaella Masciadri on JANEL McCARVILLE: "Janel's quick hands and natural talent makes her one of the most exciting players to watch in European basketball. Whether it be finding every possible way to pass the perfect assist in a game, or working hard on hitting a shot from behind the glass in practice, 'J' makes life in the gym entertaining! She also loves hosting barbecues in her backyard, making sunny afternoons off fun and delicious for us all!"