Half-Court Press: Claire Stievenard


6. Claire Stievenard (France)
Claire Stievenard dreams of winning an Olympic medal one day, just like the French women recently did at the London Olympics

It's not been an easy ride for France at the U20 European Championship Women but in Claire Stievenard, they have just the kind of multi-faceted player required for tough situations - as proven by her willingness to face a Half-Court Press.

Small forward Stievenard is known for being the glue player who often holds her team together at crucial times with her ability to make smart decisions, grab a vital rebound or play defence when it matters most.

Oh, and she also shares something with FIBA Europe women's basketball writer Paul Nilsen - her favourite ever game. A certain quadruple overtime encounter three years ago which didn't finish until almost midnight! What's your first basketball memory?
Claire Stievenard: My first basketball memory was at my first training when one of my team-mates broke her nose!

Why did you want to become a basketball player?
When I started basketball at the age of seven, it was not my intention to become a basketball player but I was a big fan of Michael Jordan and watching him play made me dream.

If you were at the Olympics but not as a basketball player, which other sport do you think it would be fun to win a gold medal in?

What is your perfect vacation, relaxation in an exotic place or more activities and exploring?
To me, my perfect vacation would be doing activities and exploring new things, new cultures, discovering new places ...

If you could only listen to one song again for the rest of your life what would it be?
It would be ‘One Love' by Bob Marley.

What is your most valuable personal item/possession?
I don't really have a valuable personal item.

Do you have any pre-game ritual or superstition?
Before every game, I just listen to music and I guess that's all, because I'm not a very superstitious girl.

Which senior French player do you most admire and why?
Nicolas Batum because he is a very versatile player.

What was it like seeing the French women's team make the Olympic Final and win a silver medal?
Seeing the women making it to the Olympic final was just amazing and I was very proud of being a young French young player. It made me want to do it like them one day.

What are the best three things about being from or living in France?
The food, the culture and Paris!

Who is the most sensible of your team-mates and who is the craziest and why?
We actually don't have sensible players here! I think we are all crazy, ha ha!

Can you cook? If you were cooking a meal for your coach what would it be?
Oh, I'm a very bad cook!

What's your best quality as a player and as a person and what is the worst?
I never give up on the court, and as a person, my best quality would be being a joyful person. But sometimes, I am too joyful and it can annoy some people.

What is the best game you have ever played in?
It was during the U16 European Championship Women in 2009 in Naples. We played a Quarter-Final against Turkey which we won after four periods of overtime!

What are your favourite other sports and which teams do you follow?
My favourite other sport is tennis and I like Roger Federer very much.

What are the most important things for a basketball player to have?
The most important thing for any basketball player is engagement.

There's only two seconds on the shot clock, do you pass or shoot?
It just depends on the situation!


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