One on one with Franca Rödhammer

Gepubliceerd op 11 juni 2024 om 13:00

Franca Rödhammer is a promising young basketball player from Austria who has been enthusiastic about the sport since her early childhood. With her first professional season in Spain at Odilo FC Cartagena CB, she is determined to make a mark on the international stage. In this Q&A article, Franca shares her experiences, her passion for basketball, and her future. Photo: FIBA Europe

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

"I am Franca, I am 20 years old, and I've played basketball for about 15 years now. I graduated in June, and last season was my first professional overseas basketball season here in Spain."

2.  How did basketball come into your life?

"Everyone within my family had to try it at least once. I started playing when I was around five or six years old, and I played with boys until I was 13 or 14. My family brought me to basketball pretty much."

3.  What makes basketball your passion?

"I really like to fight with the team, as a team. I never liked sports where I am on my own. I like the companionship of having someone with me, even during practice. You can push each other and help each other to get better. I love the feeling of being part of a team."

4.  Is there someone who inspires you?

"Women's basketball is growing, and there are important people who really makes that happen, like Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and young players like Georgia Amoore. I feel like women's basketball is getting more known and supported."

5.  Do you think basketball in Austria is growing?

"Yes, it is. Players from outside of Austria are coming in, and the league is becoming more professional each year. There's also more attention from people watching women's basketball."

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

"It was a long time ago, but I always looked up to the older, bigger boys like my cousin and brother. My first years were more about playing around. My first coach in Austria pushed me a lot, and she made me who I am. We still keep in contact."

7.  When did you start thinking about playing basketball professionally?

"In the first years, I didn't think about being a professional player. Around 12 or 13, I realized it could be possible to do more with basketball. The national team and selection teams started pushing me, and by 13 or 14, I was thinking about going to an academy high school and possibly going overseas."

8.  At what point did being an athlete change your life?

"At 15, people either stick to their sport or quit it. I lost contact with some people who didn't understand the daily routine of a sports player, but having a handful of good friends who support you is all I needed. It changed my life in a good direction."

9.  How was it to play in the highest league in Austria?

"It was exciting. In 2019, I practiced with the first team. As the youngest player, I had to adjust to the team and try to get playing time. I had good players and a good coach who helped me become a better version of myself."

10. What were some of your special moments?

"Winning the Austrian Championship with the Under 19 team in 2019 was a highlight. We were the underdogs, which sometimes helps. In 2022, we had a good Division 1 team, pushed through the playoffs, and won against a team we lost to by 25 points during the season. We reached the finals of the cup and got third place."

11. What do you think about playing basketball in Spain?

"It's very different. We had to get used to the coach, the girls, the language, and living alone in an apartment with my teammates. Focusing on what I can control, like my performance and practice, helps. The university here also provided a good place besides basketball. We started fairly good, had a short down period, but now we are winning again. If we win the next game, we can play in the playoffs."

12. How do you feel about playing with the national youth team?

"I am excited every year to play with the Nationals. It's an honor to represent my country. I know some of the girls from growing up together, and it's cool to play for Austria in such a big environment and meet players from other countries."

13. How do you look back at your last tournament with the under 20 team of Austria?

"My last tournament is kind of sad for me, but I'm happy and positive about it. It's the last chance for us as a youth team, and I am looking forward to it. I know the environment within the national team. I am looking forward to it!"

From playing in her small village in Austria to competing on an international stage, she continues to push her limits and inspire others. As she looks forward to future tournaments and professional seasons, Franca remains a beacon of hard work and team spirit in the world of women's basketball!

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