All Change In Sopron

10 May 2013

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

13. Sara Krnjic (UE Sopron)
Sara Krnjic will remain with UE Sopron next season.

Despite having recently stormed to the Hungarian Championship, there has been a clear-out at UE Sopron after the club revealed a host of new signings, as well as a new play-caller for the 2013-14 season.

After seven years at the helm, during which he achieved a memorable place at the EuroLeague Women Final Four in 2009, head coach Norbert Szekely will not have his contract extended.

UE Sopron lost a host of close games in EuroLeague Women last season and consequently missed out on a play-off spot after finishing with a 3-9 record in Group B.

Szekely will be replaced by Igor Polanek, who will be an assistant coach for Serbia at EuroBasket Women next month.

The influential Shenise Johnson, has already been snapped up by the ambitious Istanbul University and so won't be coming back, along with Amber Holt, Reka Csemy, Petra Vagvolgyi and Szandra Pal.

Ironically, Polanek will be working with Jelena Milovanovic in France, but won't be able to continue that relationship when he pitches up in Hungary, since she hasn't been re-signed either, despite being the second top scorer in EuroLeague Women last season.

However, he will be able to work with fellow Serb, Sara Krnjic, who inked an extension in recent months, whilst one of the new arrivals is the exciting '95-born center Dragana Stankovic. She starred for Serbia at the U18 European Championship in Bucharest last summer as they grabbed a bronze medal and a spot at the U19 FIBA World Championship; before exploding in the Adricatic League, to further underline her potential.

Another young player making a splash of late has been Slovak Republic national team forward Katarina Tetemondova, who caught the eye with her exploits in EuroCup Women by propelling MBK Ruzomberok to the semi-finals, with 11 points and 6.2 rebounds-per-game. After three years in Ruzomberok, she will now get the chance to test her skills in EuroLeague Women.

The main thrust of the clubs' challenge in 2013-14 could come from American pair Kelly Faris and Tianna Hawkins, who will embark on their rookie pro-seasons in Europe with Sopron, having been drafted to the WNBA last month.

Picked sixth in the overall draft by Seattle Storm, power forward Hawkins averaged a near double-double in her final NCAA season with the University of Maryland, whilst UConn graduate and all action guard/small forward Faris, impressed enough to persuade Connecticut Sun to take her as eleventh pick.

There will also be some continuity, with experienced combo guard Zsofia Fegyverneky penning a three-year deal, meaning she will return alongside Krnjic as well as Orsolya Zsovar and Zsofia Licskai.


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