In this exclusive article, Lina shares her passion for basketball, reflecting on the highs and lows that have shaped her career. From the exhilarating experience of winning the championship with ZKK Ragusa to the thrill of playing in the EuroCup against top-tier competition, Lina's story is one of dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to the sport she loves. Photo: FIBA Europe
1. Let’s introduce yourself, who are you?
“I am Lina Strilić, a 20-year-old basketball player from Croatia. I am playing basketball at ZKK Ragusa in Dubrovnik.”
2. How did you start playing basketball?
“I started as an 8-year-old player, when my parents brought me to basketball practice. At first I was playing soccer.”
3. What makes basketball your passion?
“Ever since the first practice I am very happy to play basketball. It must have something to do with being together: the loses and the wins, and everything you go through with everyone.”
4. What can you remember of the first time you played basketball?
“Well, it is a long time ago. As the days went by, everything went better. When I was little, I played with very strong players.”
5. When was the moment when you started playing in the highest league of Croatia?
“That happened when I was 16 years old. I signed with the team in Split, which was also the first time that team played in the 1st Division.”
6. How would you describe that first moment?
“It was hard, like a big challenge for me. At first you play against really good opponents, something you have to get used to it. We motivated each other and played better and better.”
7. Since 2022 you have played basketball at ZKK Ragusa in Dubrovnik, and last season you won the championship. How does it feel to be a champion?
“It’s the best feeling you can get. I was so happy. Becoming the champions was one of my first goals within the sport. It was a very special moment, something I will never forget!”
8. Becoming a champion is not just something, it is something amazing and only what you can become if you are talented and a great potential. How were you able to develop your style of playing basketball?
“Well, I give a lot of credits to my coaches. I have learned a lot from them, and helped to get better every time. Everyone tells me that I give a 100% to everything. Practice hard and work hard will only make you better.”
9. You also played EuroCup with your team. How was that kind of experience?
“Amazing! Those are the games from another level: faster, stronger and against some WMBA players. It’s a very special moment!”
10. Since 2021 you have played for the national team of Croatia, that year with the under 18 team. Playing for the national team, what does that mean to you?
“It is indescribable, really. Since I was little, my whole family have always cheered for Croatia, with every sport. The national team is the biggest team you can play with, something really magical. When that moment happened for me, wearing ‘Croatia’ on your chest and singing the national anthem, is something I will never forget! It was very emotional for me, when I heard I got selected. I give more than 100%, always!”