Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I moved to England from Denmark almost 11 years ago. I am 52 years old and have played basketball since I was 19. I have played national league in Denmark for more than 10 years and also in Liechtenstein and Switzerland where we lived for 7 years. I am a PE teacher and I love doing sports and being active. My 16-year-old daughter, Asta, is the same, but her main sport is hockey.
What brought you to the NBL in the first place?
I joined Brighton Cougars Basketball Club in 2015 and started playing local league. After having won the league twice in a row, the club decided to create a national league team for the players who wanted more of a challenge, but also to keep the young talents in the club. This is our first season.
What was your first impression of the NBL? How has that changed?
In the first place I was quite curious to see what the standard would be since I haven't watched any other NBL games. Secondly I was excited to have to travel to different parts of the country to play.
I have been a bit disappointed with the different standards of the teams and it seems like a lot of teams struggle with numbers and consistency in the squads.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is definitely my age and the fact that I was brought up to be a very old-fashioned post player who was just supposed to be big under the basket. Now everyone has to be very versatile which I am working on.
What changes have you noticed in yourself since joining the NBL?
I am trying to be a more versatile player which is hard work, but the harder competition in the NBL does challenge me to be more agressive and mobile on the court.
What are you working on right now, what are your current goals?
We are still getting to know each other on the team, but I am doing my best to be a strong presence on court by going harder to the basket on offence and by being a strong rebounder and help on defence. We have just secured a place in the playoffs, but winning the league would be fantastic.
I am also working towards a Masters World Cup that I am taking part in this Summer in Finland. I am representing GB in the 50+ team. Playing NBL is a perfect preparation for this.
What is your favourite NBL memory?
Our last game where we beat the top team in the league. This team won the league last year and beat us in our first game against them. We started the game very convincingly, but it got very close in the 4th quarter due to them shooting a series of 3 pointers. We pulled it together in the end though and it was a fantastic team effort.
What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?
To never get stuck in one position. Learn to play all over the court, because not only do you learn different skills, but you also learn to understand how everyone can move and what to expect from your team mates.
What do you like to do outside of basketball?
I love my job as a teacher. I play a lot of tennis, mostly over the Summer. I like to travel and especially by combining sports and travels. I go to several Masters tournaments. This year I am going to play in Spain, Italy, Germany and Finland. Again a great way to see different places and to share the love of the game with other people.
Finally, who is your favourite British basketball player?
I have not watched any basketball games apart from the ones I have played myself, so I don't know that many players. I do have a team mate who I admire and who I met for the first time last season playing local league. She had only just started playing basketball. Her name is Grace Kirpal. Grace is 17 years old and one of the fastest and most springy players I have ever seen. She just keeps getting better and better. It is such a pleasure to follow her development and I am sure that if she keeps playing, she will get very far.
22 Jan 2021