|10 December 2013|
|Frida Eldebrink's inclusion in the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year candidates is even more impressive considering the injury she suffered late in 2012 with Bourges Basket |
By Paul Nilsen
She may have finished 2013 on a high with her nomination for the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year, but Frida Eldebrink could barely have endured a more up and down twelve months.
The first part of the calendar year was spent on the sidelines, kicking her heels in frustration with a wrist injury which prevented her from playing at the Euroleague Women Final Eight with Tango Bourges.
At one stage, it even looked like throwing her participation at Eurobasket Women 2013 into doubt.
But, Eldebrink thankfully took her place in the Swedish team which experienced the ultimate roller-coaster ride on their return to major tournament basketball after almost three decades away.
Her superlative displays took her into a deserved spot on the All-Tournament Team, as Sweden came within a whisker of making the semi-finals at the expense of hosts France.
Unfortunately for Eldebrink and Co, they were then edged out in the race to make the FIBA World Championship for Women next year in Turkey.
"Its been a tough year for me, but I am so happy and thankful that my surgery was successful and that I can play basketball again," reflected the guard.
"Injuries are always hard, but it's a part of the sport and when it happens, you have just got to try and stay positive and believe that you can come back even stronger and better.
"Simply coming back from the injury and being able to shoot again was a big highlight in itself.
"I will never forget the feeling when I took my first shot after the surgery - that was true happiness!
"My other highlight was for sure EuroBasket Women and the result we achieved as a team.
"Our goal was to reach the quarter-finals and we did, so that was a big success for us and a good result - even though of course we wanted to reach further.
|"Our goal was to reach the quarter-finals and we did, so that was a big success for us and a good result - even though of course we wanted to reach further" - Frida Eldebrink |
She added, "Not making it to Turkey was hard on all of us and we were sad for a while, but now we just want to develop and get better and do everything in our power not to miss out on it next time."
That means ensuring a place at EuroBasket Women 2015 in Hungary and Romania via a successful qualification campaign next summer.
Sweden have been thrown into a group containing Netherlands and also Russia, who they left stunned after collecting a big win against them on French soil.
"Russia is one of the best teams in Europe, so that's going to be a tough one for us," admitted Eldebrink.
"But, basketball is basketball and we showed during the summer that when you step out on the court, anything can happen."
For now, the 25-year-old is focused on continuing with a productive campaign in Euroleague Women with Rivas Ecopolis and also gaining satisfaction from being shortlisted for the prestigious FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year accolade.
"It feels great to be nominated for this," smiled the Ostertalje native.
"For me, it's an honour to be amongst all these great players.
"It's an endorsement that you are still developing and getting better as a player"
To see the full list of candidates and to cast a vote, click here.