|05 November 2013|
|Courtney Vandersloot, seen here playing for Besiktas JK, appears to be the main recruit for Uni Gyor|
We take a look at the EuroLeague Women prospects of the tragedy-stricken Hungarian club, Uni Gyor.
Last Season: After a fantastic start which saw two wins in the first two games, Uni Gyor went on to finish with a creditable 5-7 record in Group A, but were eventually squeezed out of the play-off spots.
Summer of Tragedy: A fatal road traffic accident left the basketball world and Uni Gyor mourning the loss of head coach Akos Fuzy and General Manager Peter Tapodi. Meanwhile young Serbian leader Natasa Kovacevic was denied an opportunity to realise her EuroLeague Women dreams after she was seriously injured in the incident which prematurely ended her career.
Roster Review: The main recruit for Gyor looks like being Courtney Vandersloot who played briefly for EuroLeague Women side WBC Novi Zagreb last season before moving on to MBK Ruzomberok. The wing spots will be taken up by Serbian Milica Ivanovic who played for Romanian club ACS Sepsi SIC last season, whilst Kinga Penzes and Krisztina Kovacs arrive from PINKK Pecsi 424, with the former offering veteran know-how and the latter bringing knowledge of Gyor having played at the club previously for three seasons. Israeli Dannielle Diamant will have her hands full in a frontcourt which looks decidedly lacking in power, but the center showed at Northwestern University what she was capable of and broke into the national team during the summer by competing in the EuroBasket Women 2015 1st Qualification Round. Forward Joslyn Tinkle could be a solution in terms of helping out in the paint, since she harvested 11.8 points and 5.7 boards-per-game at Stanford and whilst not drafted in the WNBA, was given a short term deal by the Seattle Storm. There is some limited continuity with Hungarian national team guard Anna Lakloth back on the roster and she was very much part of the core rotation last year. There are also return tickets for Barbara Semsei and the exciting talent of 1996 born rising star Agnes Dobos.
Headline Stealer: Courtney Vandersloot is an assured player who can pull the strings and put points on the board. She has three solid WNBA summers behind her under former Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje coach, Pokey Chatman at Chicago Sky and is used to playing big games. She will need to be more of a leader in her role with Gyor and must also find even greater consistency in her three-point shooting if Gyor want to be competitive.
Sliding Onto The Radar: This could be a big chance for 17-year-old center Agnes Dobos to cement her reputation as one of the leading prospects of Hungarian basketball. She averaged a fruitful 10.6 points and 6.7 rebounds-per-game at the U18 European Championship Women Division B during the summer and made her EuroLeague Women debut last season when she averaged an impressive double-digits in court time during the last five games Gyor played.
Scanning the Schedule: Every game will be hugely difficult physically and emotionally for all involved, especially after being pitched into the heavyweight Group A against UMMC Ekaterinburg, Tango Bourges, Kayseri Kaski spor, Good Angels Kosice and Beretta Famila Schio. But in the circumstances, the club perhaps can relax and, with no expectations whatsoever, treat every game like a mini-final, fighting hard for every single minute - something that would make their former head coach and general manager very proud indeed.
‘Twittertastic': Check out @diamant1531 @Sloot22 @jtinx44.
In Just Ten Words: Most poignant season imaginable in the history of women's basketball.