While the best players in Europe compete for gold on the floor at EuroBasket Women there were a couple of youngsters watching from the stands who were soaking it all in, hoping they might someday suit up for their national team.
Earlier this summer in Postojna, Slovenia, FIBA Europe and the Slovenian Basketball Federation collaborated to organize the 1st FIBA Europe International Basketball Camp for U15 Girls.
Participants, representing over 20 different countries, worked on basketball basics like shooting, passing and rebounding while being addressed by doctors and officials about issues ranging from nutrition and properly treating injuries to balancing basketball with their everyday lives.
|Kasius says her favourite player to watch is Maria Stepanova of Russia.|
But there was an extra bonus for the camps MVP, Most Improved Player and a coach selected by her peers as they were given the chance to travel to Italy, on FIBA Europe’s dime, for the final round of EuroBasket Women.
Welsh coach Trudie Hopgood, camp MVP Martina Sepelkova of the Czech Republic and Most Improved Player Eline Kasius of the Netherlands are all on hand for Europe’s premier women’s basketball event.
“I think they got a lot out of it, probably more than just basketball,” said Hopgood in reference to the camp.
“They made a lot of new friends, improved their english a little bit and I think everyone went home with a lot of excitement about the year to come and hopefully we’ll have more camps in the future.”
It is the hope of everyone involved that the camp improves the player’s basketball skills and Hopgood believes we may eventually see Sepelkova and Kasius on the court at EuroBasket Women.
“I told them when we got here that the next time you’re here it might be as players, they’re fantastic and I would want them on my team.”
In between games Fibaeurope.com’s Jeff Taylor had a chance to sit down with all three to talk about the experience.
Watch the interview with Trudie Hopgood, Martina Sepelkova and Eline Kasius.