Viktoria Ranisavljevic shares some emotional and fantastic basketball moments

Gepubliceerd op 9 mei 2024 om 13:00

At just 18 years old, Viktoria Ranisavljevic from Fribourg Basket has already created significant memories in the world of basketball. Hailing from Massagno, Switzerland, her journey from playing with boys to competing at the highest levels of women's basketball in Europe is one of those amazing moments. She won the championship with Fribourg this season. We will see a lot more of this young basketball international from Switzerland! Photo: FIBA Europe

Breaking barriers

From the age of six, Viktoria's passion for basketball entered her life. Unfazed by being the only girl amongst boys in her early years of playing, she honed her skills and fearlessly embraced the challenges that came her way. “I was really young, and I started in a team when I was the only girl and played with all the guys for five or six years,” Viktoria tells us. “Unfortunately, I had to move on to a club with only women because I love playing with men on the team. I then played two years in another club in Switzerland, and at the age of 13, I started to play in the first division in Switzerland. That was a really great experience.”

Following her dream at such young age

Viktoria made the decision at 16 to pursue her basketball dreams in Italy. This move exposed her to a higher caliber of competition, pushing her to elevate her game. “When I was 16 years old, I left my family and went to Italy for two years because I wanted to really grow up as a person and also as a basketball player. I had the opportunity to play at a higher level of basketball, which was totally different. It was very difficult at the beginning, not only because of basketball but also for my family because I left them. I was younger, and it was pretty hard at the beginning. For basketball, you see really the difference in physicality and technique. If you want to play professional basketball in Italy at that level, you must be very, very good at it. It is about working really hard, extremely hard. I have really seen how much I must work to achieve that kind of level of basketball which is necessary to play. Last year in Italy, I finished as the second-best top scorer of the league.”

What makes basketball her biggest passion?

For Viktoria, basketball is more than just a sport. It's a platform to reveal her authentic self, to express the depth of her emotions. “For me, I feel an emotion inside me that I don't feel outside of the court, while during a basketball game, you can see the real Viktoria. It is just because outside of the court I'm a little shy, but on the court, I really show my character and I think that shows the best part of me as well. That's the biggest thing that I love about basketball. That, and because of the teammates I have, like the true friendship that we share on the court. I think the most important thing is to never give up.”

Viktoria also draws inspiration from various sources. That could be players, but also some EuroLeague teams. “I watch a lot of men’s basketball games, and I love players like Miloš Teodosić. The passes he gives are really amazing to see, just like Nikola Jokić does too! He can be so good because he may not be that athletic, but his shooting or passing abilities are amazing. As for the EuroLeague, my favorite team is KK Partizan. Every year I visit some games of that team. I was in Belgrade in December to watch them in the EuroLeague against Virtus Bologna. I can recommend everyone to visit Partizan once, really!”

From a great player from Switzerland to International contender

Viktoria's list of accomplishments continues to grow. Her standout performances on the court have not only earned her accolades but also a coveted spot on Switzerland's national youth team, fulfilling a lifelong dream. “We won the Switzerland Championship this year with Fribourg, and we played in the EuroCup too. That was an incredible experience because we played against the top teams in Europe, for example, Reyer Venezia. All of those teams really helped me to grow up. It was tough, but incredible. I am happy with the choice that I made to come here for one year. It really helped me to grow up a lot.”

How great would it be to play for your country? That’s also a dream that came true for Viktoria. Last summer she played an amazing tournament with the under-20 team of Switzerland. She can remember that first time as an international pretty well, with the under-16 team. “I felt really emotional at the beginning because I was 13 years old and I already played with the under-16 team of Switzerland. That means the girls on that team are three years older than me. When I see the jersey of the national team, it really gives me a lot of good vibes and great memories as well. It’s an honor to be able to play for your country, and it’s amazing that I got the opportunity to do that. It is like a dream come true!”

As Viktoria Ranisavljevic continues to carve her path in the world of basketball, her story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and unwavering determination. With her sights set on even greater heights, the future looks undeniably bright for this rising star from Switzerland. Photo: FIBA Europe

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