|Artemis Spanou has a rapid rise in the sport of basketball after picking up a ball at the age of 10|
By no surprise, one of the standouts at the U20 European Championship Women in Samsun is Greek forward Artemis Spanou.
Already proven at senior level, earlier this summer the 20-year-old was a key player in leading her team in scoring during the EuroBasket Women 2015 First Qualification Round as Greece became the first team to qualify for EuroBasket Women 2015.
Now, Spanou is doing it all in Samsun. A leader on and off the court, she leads Greece in points, rebounds, assists and steals. When fibaeurope.com approached her for the first edition of Half-Court Press for the summer, Spanou did not have to think twice before agreeing.
What's your first basketball memory?
I was 10 years old and playing on outside courts. I really don't know how I was actually doing, but I was having fun out there. With my national team, the first thing that crosses my mind is when we were U16 [Division B] European champions and the team advanced to Division A.
I believe I am very strong down low as forward is my position. I still need to work on my outside game and on whatever else coaches say. They know better.
Playing on the senior national team one day and winning a medal at a future EuroBasket Women means...
That is a big goal, one that I really want. I hope in the future it really happens.
Who is the best European player you've seen?
I admire a lot of players so it is hard to chose one. Greek player is Evina Maltsi, and also Celine Dumerc from France. On my position, I would say it is Sandrine Gruda.
Who is the most serious player on your team off the court and who is the biggest joker?
Anastasia Slouka is the most serious player on the court, but off the court the jokers are Vasiliki Tarla and Elisavet Politopoulou.
What was the first you thing you packed to come to this tournament?
(laughing) my shoes!
What is the one item you cannot live without?
I always have with me my lucky cross. I always have it with me. I even wear it during my games if referees do not see it.
What are your eating requirements as a basketball player?
I try to eat healthy but that does not happen all the time. A lot of protein and meat, and I drink a lot of water.
What are you going to eat when no one is looking?
Waffles with vanilla ice cream.
If the coach comes for dinner, what are you going to cook him?
Greek national meal pastichio. I tried to make it once before so I don't know how it would turn out. Otherwise, I would make him eggs and potatoes.