Feyonda Fitzgerald: I Want to Be a Polish League MVP
How do you find yourself in your first months in Poland?
Everything is moving towards the better. It was only my first professional basketball season and most things were absolutely new to me. As time goes by, you better get to know your country and your teammates. At first, it was hard for me, but now it seems to me that I feel better every day. The hardest thing is that Polish is one of the hardest in the world and hard to understand.
And how do you rate the beginning of the season in the performance of Bee?
In my opinion, our team is really good and has great potential. However, we have to put everything in order so that the team functions properly. You also need to believe in yourself, which always helps. Every day we train hard to become a better team. We are also working on a mental approach. We want the Lublin team to be better than last season. I think it should be good.
You have to be disappointed that the first game at home ended with your defeat, because on the trip you are so far unbeaten.
We were extremely disappointed. The coach told us in the locker room before the game: many fans came to the hall, so show them a game that will make them come back for another game. In the fight with Basket 90 Gdynia we had good parts of the game, but there was also a period in which we caught the hole. Undoubtedly, we can afford more. We can promise all our fans that in the next meeting we will do everything to redeem ourselves. We will fight for victory in every match.
What are the strengths of your team?
I think we have a good team in the team and we can throw it. As for me, I’m quick and I can see the girls in clean positions. I try to penetrate under the basket. The finishes of our stock are very good. As long as we keep the form in terms of individuality, it will benefit the team.
You feel like you are on the dance floor, but you can also play in other positions?
Yes, I can also play the role of a defender. As a college student, I played in both positions and I’m not attached to only one place on the field. It adapts to the coach’s decision and I like the variety in the game.
But your specialty is assisting. In the 2016/17 season, you set the record for the American Athletic Conference NCAA in key applications.
That’s right. I told the girls from the team that they would be in positions of attack and my applications would find them. I just want them to make a throw. They will get a good pass, but let them get to the basket (laughs). I want as much help as possible! (laugh).
Why did you decide to transfer to the Women’s League Basket? Did you know anything about Poland before you signed the contract?
To be honest, it’s nothing. I’ve heard a lot about these games, but my knowledge was small. I learned that it is a strong league where you can learn a lot. My main goal is to show myself the best way to be noticed. Besides, I wanted to leave the USA and learn a whole different culture, experience something new. I was very excited about the first season of the profession. I heard first of all that in Poland it was cold and it scared me a bit, but besides, I met myself with positive opinions. I know some former athletes who are currently coaches and I talked to them about this transfer. I also consulted with basketball players who are currently playing at BLK.
What are the main differences between the Ladies’ Basket and the games you have played so far?
In Poland there is definitely more physical basketball. The organization of the game looks different. I try to adapt to these conditions every day. I still have to learn a lot, but my friends help me.
Which of the girls in the team did you make the best contact?
I would rather point to … (laughs). My favorite is Serbian, Danyana Butulije.
Both of you quickly became leaders of the team and have the best statistics after the first meeting.
That’s right. Statistics are an important factor in my stay here, but above all, I try to help the team achieve the best results. The most important for me is winning. I want as many victories. We are counting on our participation in the playoffs and I hope we can fight for the championship of Poland. I’m here to make the Lublin team go farther than in previous seasons.
Have you set your own goal for this season?
Yes, I want to stay MVP of this league, be one of the top players. So, I could go back to the States and sign a contract at WNBA. I would like to bring Bee at least to the semi-finals.
You have a college student in Philadelphia. Do you know that there is Darryl Reynolds, who comes from Philadelphia, on TBL Start Lublin?
Yes, we have met a few times already. It was nice to meet someone in Lublin with whom I have some experience from the United States. It would be cool if there was an American in Pszczółka, but it did not happen and thanks to it, he knows better the other teammates.
In your twitter account you wrote “when they pay you for doing what you love, it’s a blessing.” Is your motto?
My favorite quotation comes from a bible letter to the Philippians, and it reads: “I can do everything in the One who strengthens me.” I thank God for playing basketball and earning money. I try to appreciate and celebrate every moment on the dance floor. It’s really amazing.
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*Please note that the above was translated by Google from Polish to English.