Rush-Hour Hoops

30 June 2009

If one of the aims of hosting the U18 European Championship for Women in Södertälje from July 2-12 is to spread the gospel of hoops, then the Sweden Basketball Federation has already been successful.

Hundreds of Swedish girls showed up at the T-Centralen - the main train station in Stockholm - for the morning rush hour of June 16 to dazzle onlookers with their dribbling and to let them know about the big event that tips off on Thursday.

Sleepy-eyed travelers sipping java while walking to their trains wore puzzled looks as the youngsters bounced basketballs for 90 frenetic seconds.

The girls then abruptly departed, leaving behind Molten balls for everyone to take home.

If you live in Stockholm and were late for work that day, here's what you missed.

The dribbling, passing and shooting will be more serious for the Swedes on Thursday when they take on Bulgaria at 9pm local time in their opening game.

Rising star Farhiya Abdi of 08 Stockholm is among the headline names in the Swedish team.

There are five players in the squad who should have plenty of support since they play for Södertälje BBK.

They are Frida Fogdemark, Cleo Forsman, Jennifer Kücükkaya, Salome Kabengano and Binta Drammeh.

Sweden have been putting the final touches on their preparations.

They took on powerhouses Spain on Sunday and Monday and lost both friendly games.

Sweden fell in the first 77-59.

Abdi had 14 points and Sweden got eight apiece from Sodertalje BBK's Frida Fogdemark and Julia Vestin of Lulea BG.

The Spanish only led 21-20 at the end of the opening quarter but then outscored Sweden 20-7 over the next 10 minutes to take command.

On Monday, Spain edged a much closer encounter, 74-73.

In that friendly, Sweden's Abdi poured in 20 points and Forsman 18.

Sweden squad for U18 European Championship for Women: Farhiya Abdi (08 Stockholm), Frida Fogdemark (Södertälje BBK), Cleopatra Forsman-Goga (Södertälje BBK), Jennifer Kücükkaya (Södertälje BBK), Mia Hakim (Eos Lund), Salome Kabengano (Södertälje BBK), Hayet Neffati (Norrköping Dolphins), Binta Drammeh (Södertälje BBK), Julia Tornberg (Eos Lund), Kajsa Lundahl (Sallén), Julia Vestin (Luleå BG) and Sandra Ngoie (08 Stockholm).


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