She assisted in breaking the host nation hearts on Saturday, but despite being public enemy number one in Hradec Kralove, Hungary’s Courtney Vandersloot is enjoying the Eurobasket Women experience in the Czech Republic.
After losing their opener against Spain, Vandersloot played a typically classy and understated role as Hungary dealt a knockout blow to Czech Republic as they picked up a 74-70 success in their following game, dropping the hosts to a second straight defeat and picking up their first in the process.
Vandersloot showed her quality with a brilliant cameo of 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds during the win against the host nation on Saturday but the performance by the naturalised guard came largely unnoticed mainly due to the mass scoring efforts of Zsofia Fegyvernesky and Nora Nagy-Bujdoso but the American’s under-the-radar play was also a telling factor.
“I wanted to come in and do whatever they needed me to do – not what I wanted to do, and that could be a different role each time I play,” confirmed Vandersloot, who plays for WNBA side Chicago Sky.
“I already love this team because they don’t get fixated on trying to get the ball to one or two players, they really share things around and look for the opportunities wherever they come.
“Hungary already had a really good core and maybe some people might even say they didn’t need me, so I came in with the mentality of showing I can help in different ways – including defensively.”
This entire Eurobasket Women experience though is something that Vanderlsoot is thriving in. The 28-year-old, Washington native has come off one of the most successful seasons in her six year professional career with Yakin Dogu Universitesi and their landmark season which harvested a first-ever EuroCup Women, Turkish Cup and Turkish Championship titles.
When she isn’t in Europe, the third pick of the 2011 WNBA Draft is one of the key components on the Chicago Sky roster that has seen her rack up impressive accolades since being drafted. Vandersloot was a WNBA All-Star in her first season, as well as being on the All-Rookie side. She also earned a spot on the All-Second team in 2015.
“This tournament is awesome and it’s been some of the best basketball I have ever played in,” beamed Vandersloot.
“It was especially enjoyable because of the atmosphere, which was also helped by the support of the Hungary fans who came along. I feel lucky to be able to be a part of it, even if it has been an absolute whirlwind for me, bouncing around from one team to the next with Yakin Dogu Universitesi, to the WNBA and now here.
“It really is such good fun as having played a long time in Europe in club basketball, I have never played in an international competition like Eurobasket Women before.”