By Adrian Popa
|Basketball was nothing but an oddity at first for Sonia Ursu, but it gradually won her over, even if it meant she would have less time for the fashion world|
She is the star of the Romanian national team at the Global Vision U18 European Championship Women.
She has something special that draws you from the first moment you see her.
Maybe it's her Asian look, maybe it's her style of play, maybe it's both. But for sure she has something mesmerizing about her.
Sonia Ursu long oscillated between choosing a career in modeling or in basketball. At only 18 years, she is already decided. She can't let the ball down.
"The Asian look is an inheritance from my father, who is from South Korea," Ursu explains.
She was born in Suceava, a small town in the eastern region of Romania. Her mother is Romanian, but she spent the first seven years of her life in Korea.
"I came back to Romania when I started school in Suceava. In fourth grade I moved to Bucharest, where my mother opened a Korean restaurant," Ursu remembers.
She was independent and stubborn since she was a small child and did all the time what she wanted.
"When I was in Suceava, I used to take piano lessons and go swimming. Nobody forced me to do both, I did it for fun and just because I wanted," she says.
The same happened later with basketball and fashion.
"When I arrived in Bucharest my classmates were playing basketball. For me it was a sport that looked like rugby. I didn't know anything about basketball. But being the tallest person in the classroom, the mother of one colleague of mine suggested I should try it.
"I wanted to know the rules and I wanted to learn more about this, so my classmates wouldn't laugh at me all the time," she recalls.
When she was 13, she started to become really passionate about fashion.
"An aunt of mine injected me the virus. I love how she was dressing and tried to wear her clothes, her high-heel shoes. And then I developed a passion for fashion and it grew bigger and bigger with every trip I was taking abroad with the basketball team. And I have really traveled a lot," she says with a smile.
Her passion grew and turned into a blog where she posts various comments about fashion, clothing and also her impressions from the world of basketball.
The fact is that she chose the latter.
"I like to pose and I would like to do modeling, but I could not give up basketball. If you do two things at the same time, you don't do them both well. Playing together, playing in a team, experiencing the feelings you have during a basketball game and, last but not least, winning, is more important than some shoes.
"Basketball made me more mature and I could not give it up for modeling, like every sport it implies some sacrifices -but it's worth it," she says with certainty.
She was the go-to player for Romania in two of their three games so far and has scored 10.3 points per game.
"It's very hard to lead the team. Sometimes all the pressure is on me and I need to know my colleagues better, in order to help them.
"We were fighting for every game. Even if we went through with no victory that counts, now we want to leave all our effort on the court for the next games," she says about the way ahead.