Having big dreams, a lot of potential and talent. Anja Nachevska is a North-Macedonian basketball player who gives everything on the court. Her strength and talent has made her a fantastic talented player! Photo: FIBA Europe
1. Let’s introduce yourself, who are you?
“I am Anja Nachevska from North-Macedonia, I live in the capital city: Skopje and I am 16 years old.”
2. How did you start playing basketball?
“My father is a former professional soccer player, and we were always at sport matches when I was 3-4 years old. We lived in Athens because of my father’s professional obligations. There was a sports court with a basket across from our residence. Everytime I went there, there was a boy who was training and shooting at the basket, I always sat on the bench and watched him. When the ball escaped to the side, I always got up to run to pass the ball back to him. I fell in love with basketball like that. At the age of six, when we returned to Skopje, I started training basketball.”
3. What makes basketball your favourite sport?
“My passion for basketball came from the ball. It makes me happy, and I can’t live a single day without it. Whenever I’m on vacation, I always play with any ball that fills me up and makes me happy. Basketball is a teamsport where you have to think and share the ball, and you make a lot of new friends as well.”
4. What kind of player are you?
“I am the type of player who likes to share the ball, in order to have team success and progress. I am always motivated when I have a stronger opponent, and so I give the maximum of myself. When I make a mistake, I have more motivation for the next attack to fix it.”
5. Is there someone who inspires you?
“My inspiration comes from the legendary Kobe Bryant with his life-experience and basketball moves that he had achieved. I practice to steal a move from him and apply it to my own game. When I was playing for the senior national team of North-Macedonia, I had the opportunity to meet one of my great an idol from women’s basketball: Emma Messeman from the Belgian Cats.”
6. Where did you play basketball so far?
“At the age of six, I started in the BC Junior basketball club. Then I continued in the BC MVP junior team. After I started my professional career, I played for Vardar basketball club.”
7. How was it for you to play basketball in the highest league of North Macedonia at ZKK Vardar?
“At the beginning I was nervous, because I entered the first senior team at the age of 14. There were older girls who accepted me and always gave me motivation and they supported me so much. I also scored winning points in important matches. And I always try to be the best version of yourself!”
8. What was your role in ZKK Vardar?
“From my youngest age, they recognized my talent for basketball. I trained with the men’s team, so the next upcoming year they included me so that I could progress. I also traveled with them to tournaments. The coaches and the club provided me with everything for advancement.”
9. How did your team, ZKK Vardar, perform during your time there?
“We had great success within the youth leagues. In the same year that we won the first place in under 14 team, we also won the third place with the under 16 team.”
10. Are there any special moments during your basketball career so far (winning a championship at younger age)?
“When I played in the Men's under 14 team, we won the title and I was named MVP of the tournament. Also, in the Men's under 16 team, I was named MVP as well.”
11. How was your debut event for the under 18 national team of North Macedonia?
“I had a big challenge, because I played for two years older generation and there were European players. It was a great experience for me, because it was my first European championship.”
12. Playing for the national team, how does that feel?
“It is a very good feeling to play for your country and wear the national jersey, just to represent your country. It's an honor, really!”
13. What is the significance of you making your debut for the senior national team?
“For me, it was a very great experience to be called up for the national team and to make my debut at such a young age. However, there are girls with a great basketball career. It was a huge joy and I still feel very nervous when I realized that I would be performing with famous people: European basketball girls. I have felt a great responsibility to justify my debut for the A national team.”
14. When I see you play, I see a fire in you; a power of potential of making progression in every way. How did you develop your skills and talent to become a great player like you are now?
“With a lot of effort and dedication to basketball, great discipline, many sacrifices and pleasures experienced by my peers. You still need to have talent, but above all you need to prioritize yourself and work hard to achieve the desired success. I have a lot of support, from the family, the coaches of my team and the individual trainers and the fitness coach who strengthened my body.”
15. What are some potential future prospects for your basketball career?
“I want to continue my basketball career in a European club where I can progress even more and build my basketball career. My dream was, since I started playing basketball, to play in the WNBA.”