She has played on the highest basketball league of Norway since she was 13 years old! Karyn Sanford was the starting point guard of Ulriken Eagles, and has also been an international pretty soon. Next season she will play for the University of Albany in the United States. Photo: FIBA Europe
1. Let’s introduce yourself, who are you?
“I am Karyn Sanford, 18 years old and from Norway. I play for the national basketball team of Norway and until last season for Ulriken Eagles in Norway.”
2. How did you start playing basketball?
“Both my parents are basketball coaches and used to play basketball either. I started when I was around four years old. Even before that I was in the gym, like shooting on the side baskets.”
3. What kind of player are you?
“I am a point guard, that’s where I feel most comfortable at. Furthermore, I am not shy for a little contact with my opponent, but finding my teammates is my main position. I know I can score, but I want to create opportunities for my teammates to score as well.”
Photo: FIBA Europe
4. Are you a shooter or a driver?
“Sometimes I receive the ball at the final seconds and make the shot. When I drive, I sometimes pass the ball when the opponent is near me.”
5. Is there someone who inspires you?
“When I grew up, I have always looked up at Emilie Grønås, and now my teammate Stine Austgulen. Those two players went to the United States, what I also want to do. I have also looked up at Sabrina Ionescu. She is such a great player at New York Liberty! She is not only great on the court, but also a role model off the court.”
6. During season 2017-2018 you played at the highest league of Norway when you were 13 years old. How was it for you to compete at the highest league at such young age?
“I didn’t really play that much during my first year, until the play-offs. Our point guard ran into foul trouble, and that was my opportunity to show what I got. Since then I have always been playing here, and since the last three years I’ve been the starting point guard of the team. Right now we beat teams with a lot of points differential. The league used to be even, with a lot of talent. I had a lot of experience received from my teammates.”
7. How was it to compete at the EuroCup?
“It was great! Even though we got smashed, I learned a lot. European basketball is a real high level, and I was amazed to play against those players.”
8. How did you manage to improve you explosive scoring ability?
“Because of all kinds of tournaments, especially the national team tournaments. I always thought I want to be the best. If you want to be the best, you have to do something about it and always work and train hard. You can’t just show off on practice and expect that everything will just work out for you. You have to know what you are doing, and you only can make that happen if you practice hard enough and be the missing part of the team.”
9. Can you describe you time with the under 16 team of Norway?
“Norway have never been a strong basketball country. The 2003 generation has a lot of talent. We did well with the national under 16 team. Though you didn’t see some of those players during the season, you saw some of them later on in the summer.”
10. What are your expectations in the United States?
“It’s going to be great! I’ve been on a visit last April, and I really look forward to be on the court!”
Photo: FIBA Europe