Stamolambrou on sport-fm.gr: “That’s why I went to Panathinaikos – There is a similarity with Slukas”

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A few days after he -unofficially- put forward the “greens”, h Anna-Niki Stamolambrau talk to sport-fm.gr and the Sophia Theodoraki.

Her transcript from Olympic to Panathinaikosthe similarity with its counterpart Kostas Sloukasthe course with the National Team in Eurobasket 2017her goals ahead of the new season and the climate she expects to encounter in her first appearance at the closed “Pavlos Giannakopoulos” as a home team, were some of the topics the international playmaker spoke about.

His former leader Olympiakou made the decision after five full years in the “red and white” to leave: “It was the right thing to do timing. I was 5 years at Olympiakos, I came full circle, I knew towards the end of the season that our partnership was coming to an end. I wanted to see something different. To evolve. When you stay at the same club for 5 years, you don’t have many options. For an athlete, the important thing is to always be motivated, so the time has come.”

The crew of time – as she described it herself – for her departure from him Olympic he came. Anna-Niki referred to the moment and the person that stood out from her tenure in the “red and whites”: “I’ve had so many great moments, it’s hard for me to choose just one. However, one of the moments I will always remember is my first year, the first victory in the Euroleague against Hungarian Sopron in Chalkida. The person I hold, without wanting to offend anyone is coach Pantelakiswith whom we have a tremendous relationship and has helped me grow as a player and as a person.”

His proposal Panathinaikou made Anna-Niki accept without a second thought. For the new challenge in her career, however, there were two key persons: “Everything happened very quickly. I was ready to sign in Turkey. Within 48 hours I made a decision. He played important role and the Lolita Lymoura in my decision. There was a mutual appreciation with the club and especially with her Eleni Capogiannis. I knew the transition from one club to another would be difficult. However I saw it as a new one challenge for me. We had spoken with coach Capogianni two other times in the past to work together, on the third we closed the deal. The coach and Lolita spoke openly to me about the role I will have in the team. The management fully satisfied my requirements. It was the most correct choice for the next stage of my career.”

But Anna-Niki was not the only one who made the route “Olympiakos-Panathinaikos”since we had a similar move for the men with Kostas Sloukas: “First of all, Kostas is an excellent player, I appreciate him a lot. There certainly are similarities, but there are also differences. I find a similarity in the fact that both we wanted a different role in the team from the one we were meant to have in the new season. I personally wanted to keep his role team leader, so I think that’s where the similarity lies, but everyone has their own personal reasons. I know that many people compare us, but the cases are not so similar.”

The 28-year-old point guard who has played many times in his jersey Olympiakou in the closed “Pavlos Giannakopoulos” against Panathinaikosis looking forward to feeling the atmosphere as a home team as well. “When I entered the first training session in this stadium, I was observing everything, look at the stands. I have experienced it as an opponent, now I sat from the other bench, it was strange. It’s always been a lot the seat of Panathinaikos is difficult. There is a lot of public support for the amateur. I think without wanting to offend anyone that Panathinaikos fans create a very nice atmosphere, I want to experience it. Everyone is waiting for the game against Olympiakos, but they have to so that things don’t go astray because of rivalry».

With her new team, the international playmaker has set high goals as she wants to win both domestic and European titles. “Above all there should be health, because it is the most important thing. I think our team has one of the best rosters in recent years. Panathinaikos is a huge club and it is important to recognize the history of the club. The jersey is too heavy. The goal is always the top. We definitely want to win the domestic titles. We want the double. In Europe we have to go step by step gradually and see how far we can go. I don’t like to say big words. I think that under the instructions of the coaching staff and if we work very hard, in the end we will achieve the goals we have set as a team. I personally want to improve as much as I can, to develop as an athlete. I can promise that I will work very hard to help my new team.”

Her passion for basketball is evident in her every word. But where did this come from? “What actually pushed me to basketball is my brother, George. I did swimming and tennis, at some point my dad asked me what I really wanted to do and I told him “what George does too”. I had no idea how basketball is played, I started watching his training sessions, the matches and the “germ” stuck with me. George is the reason I play basketball today.”

She took her first steps on the court in Thermaikos Thermis at the age of just 7, while her first appearances at the women’s level came with the PAOK team. “After 5-6 years at Thermaikos Thermis, I went to PAOK. Completely different mentality from Thermaikos, however I acclimatized very quickly because the coach of Thermaikos came to PAOK with me. We went together, it was important that I had a coach that I knew very well. In 2012 I compete for the first time in level of women as young as 16 years old».

Her passage through the college championships of America, the choice of the “Robert Morris” university, the combination of championships and studies is a pivotal point both for her career and for her life: “Several coaches from different colleges had come and seen me. It was a very difficult process of discarding some of them to arrive at Robert Morris. I wanted to see what suited me best. What impressed me at Robert Morris is that the coaches themselves traveled to Thessaloniki to meet me and my family. It clicked and she was one of the best choices of my life».

The Panathinaikos playmaker has been playing for the national team since she was a child, culminating in her participation in the excellent run at EuroBasket 2017: “I have been in the National Team since 2009. I know it will sound “cliché” but it is the highest price for an athlete. It’s awe-inspiring. I get goosebumps every time I hear the national anthem on the field wearing the coat of arms. Each participation with the National Team is different. No matter how many appearances you make, representing your country is really very special.

In 2017 we conquered it 4th place. It was a life experience. I had teammates who were very great players, like her Lolita Lymourathe Evina Maltsisthe Stella Kaltsidou. I don’t want to be unfair to any of them, they were all excellent. Working next to athletes of such a range, I tried to improve and I think I succeeded. In recent years, the National Team has been rebuilt from scratch, the base, the character and the philosophy of the team. The results will not come immediately, but there will definitely be progress. I wish and hope that we bring some success to the Women’s National Team.”

Although until today basketball is her life, in the future it is not necessary that it will be the focus for Anna-Niki Stamolambrou. So when she is asked how she imagines herself ten years from now, she typically answers: “It’s so far away, I can’t imagine me exactly. Obviously basketball right now is my number one priority. However, I think that in 10 years when I will be 38, basketball will probably be over for me. I have ambitions for the future. I haven’t thought about coaching at all and I think it won’t be in my plans, I wouldn’t like it.”

Source: Sport Fm

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