The Netherlands Basketball Federation have named Irene Sloof as their face of the Year of Women's Basketball.
The 172-cm Sloof plays for Dutch club CBV Binnenland and is a national team regular.
Irene will tell us a little bit about herself and the significance of being involved in the Year of Women's Basketball.
My name is Irene Sloof, I am 28 years old and I am playing in Holland and for the Dutch National Team. After growing up at a local basketball club in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, I left for the United States when I was 19 years old. For four years I played for Liberty University, division I NCAA, and we won our Conference Championship all four years. It was a great experience to sense the intensity that comes along with playing basketball there.
After those great four years I returned to the Netherlands and started playing in the highest league. It was an honour to be recognised as the MVP of the 2002-2003 season. I have been a member of the Netherlands national team for many years and we are currently working hard to get back into Division A.
Besides playing, I am also coaching girls (age 13-18). I love to see the difference I can make in their development as a player and as a person. Youth basketball is important for the future. It is important that more people want to invest their time in young players. They are the future and they have to become better than today's players.
That is why I love having been asked to become involved in the Year of Women’s Basketball project. I really hope and believe it will make a large impact in many different countries.