One on one with Mária Štefančová

Gepubliceerd op 28 november 2023 om 09:00

Getting stronger, gaining a lot of basketball experience and being a talented player. Mária Štefančová have proved herself as a basketball player since the beginning. She has always played in Ružomberok, a city in the north of Slovakia. This Slovakian international has so much potential, potential she has always shown on the court: during every practice and every game! Photo: FIBA Europe

1.  Let’s introduce yourself, who are you?

“I am Mária Štefančová, I live in Slovakia and play basketball for about eight years now. When I was 12 years old I started playing basketball. Right now I am playing at MBK Ružomberok.”

2.  What do you like about basketball?

“Basketball is everything for me. When I play, I don’t worry about anything. I concentrate on the game. I have always wanted to be a good basketball player.”

3.  How did you start playing basketball?

“A school teacher came into are PE-class. She asked me if I would like to join basketball practice twice a week, so I tried that. Since then I have always loved it, and it has become my biggest passion.”

4.  What kind of player are you?

“I am a point guard, and I like to set a good defense for my opponent. What I also like is driving to the basket.”

5. What I like about you are your rebounding skills, because during last European championship you grabbed a lot of them.

“I think rebounding is one of the important things of basketball.”

Photo: FIBA Europe

6.  Basketball in Slovakia, how much potential does it have to you?

“I think that the women’s league and the national is doing great. Slovakia is not a pretty big country, and the sport doesn’t get that much money to grow further. Despite of that, the women’s senior team is doing it well, although there aren’t that many opportunities to build on a career. It is much difficult for the younger teams, because in 2011 the under 16 and under 18 teams were in the A-division until last summer.”

7.  How was it for you to play basketball for the first time?

“During the first practice we were thought a lot on all of the fundamental skills. It was already my ambition to become a great basketball player. I am really exciting when I go to practice, and I really like to travel to other places; cities and even countries.”

8. You have always played for MBK Ružomberok, and last year you started playing in the highest league of Slovakia. How was it for you to play in that league for the first time?

“It was really tough, because I played for the first time with women at the age of 25 or 27. They have a lot of experience, while I was only 16 years old. During my first practice, I didn’t know what to expect. I learned a lot, and I know what I have to do this year. It is a process of learning a lot and getting stronger every game. It is much harder, but I was able to get in the starting five a couple of times. My coach and my team mates have believed in me, and that gave me a lot of strength either.”

9. You are also an international of Slovakia, and you played last year for the under 16 team. How was that first moment for you, to become a Slovakian international?

“It is great, a great experience. We went to Podgorica in Montenegro, and to be honest, I never travelled by plane before. I was really excited, and didn’t know what to expect from this tournament. We had a chance to reach the top three, but we didn’t make that. I learned a lot of it though!”

10. Playing for the national team, what kind of honor is that to you?

“Slovakia is my country. When I play for my country I feel really proud of that. It gives me a lot of opportunities to discover more about basketball, and to keep growing a lot!”

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