|27 September 2013|
By Paul Nilsen
One of the most successful and influential women's players to hail from France, Edwige Lawson-Wade hung up her shoes after EuroBasket Women and has swapped handling the ball in favour of a move into club management.
|Edwige Lawson's experience as a player helps her a lot in her new managerial position |
FROM BACKCOURT TO BACK OFFICE
The former guard is currently finding out in her new role as General Manager of Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration, that the players strutting their stuff on court is merely the end product of the hard work and very different mentality from those sat in the club office.
"I am done playing, but I am not done with basketball," she confirmed.
"I am now in charge of the professional section of our team and the transition was very interesting.
"I have loved talking with our coach, Valéry Demory, about which players we should bring to the club for example.
"I also enjoy working with the rest of the management about making our club an even more professional team.
"The biggest adjustment has been my relationships with my former team-mates, who are also my friends.
"There are now some things that I have to keep confidential and I can't discuss with them.
"But overall, it is a position that I am already enjoying a lot."
Whilst those adjustments in personal relationships can be a difficult process to go through, Lawson-Wade feels that having sat on the other side of the fence for so many years, she brings a unique insight to the managerial position.
She explained, "Being a former player helps me in understanding what makes a team better and in which conditions of work the players are the most effective.
"I also use my experience of playing at big clubs like Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje, CSKA Moscow and San Antonio in the WNBA for example.
"I am trying to take what made them be so good.
"Of course I still have a lot to learn though and this is why I am also taking a General Manager class at University."
STABILITY IS KEY AFTER CHANGES
Back in EuroLeague Women after BLMA competed in EuroCup Women last season, Lawson-Wade is eager to continue the momentum which she feels has placed the club as one of the most consistent in France.
And, whilst a big challenge lies in wait after a number of new arrivals who need to be integrated, she is hugely excited with the team that has been assembled.
"BLMA will be one of the best teams in France once again," declared the 34-year-old.
"This club is showing that this is the second most stable team behind Bourges.
"We have won the French Cup twice in the past three years and been on the final two times in a row.
"The level is higher in EuroLeague Women and it will be difficult against Fenerbahce, Wisla Can-Pack and Nadezhda, but I believe we are going to surprise a lot of people."
|French League MVP Geraldine Robert is staying with BLMA|
MIX OF OLD AND NEW EXCITES
She continued, "Our coaching staff will be the same, with Valéry Demory as our head coach and Guy Prat as an assistant, but we added James Wade, the assistant coach of San Antonio in the WNBA.
"The players have changed a lot from last year.
"We have added Ingrid Tanqueray who is a deadly three-point shooter, the experienced Gunta Basko-Melnbarde, Helena Ciak who will soon be replacing Emmeline Ndongue in the French national team and young French prospect Fleur Devillers.
"We were happy to keep French League MVP Geraldine Robert, Eurobasket Women silver medallist Gaelle Skrela, Fatimatou Sacko, Virginie Bremont and Lidija Turcinovic.
"Also, our team will as always play an up-tempo game and you will be able to see what an athlete Robert is - she is always an exciting player to watch!"
BLMA tip-off their EuroLeague Women campaign on 06 November with a Group B clash in Orenburg against Nadezhda.