New player looks to revamp girls’ basketball

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Members of the girls’ basketball team gather after a practice during preseason.

Ava Simunovic '20

As we begin our descent into the depths of winter, the sound of squeaking sneakers and bouncing basketballs return. Hair is pulled back, laces are tied and jerseys are thrown on as the girls’ varsity basketball team prepares to embark on their upcoming season.

The lingering remembrances of their FCIAC defeat last year pushes the team on and the apprehension of the season before them keeps them on their toes. In order to avenge their past losses, something more is needed from the lady Wreckers. Every team in the off season searches for a new formation, new lineup or new coaching techniques; a secret weapon of sorts in order to throw off the teams that have become accustomed to their style of play.

The Staples girls’ varsity basketball team is no exception. Their secret weapon for this season comes all the way from Sweden. Alva Nordin ’21 moved to the United States this past August from Stockholm, Sweden and now plans to help lead the Staples girls’ varsity team to a strong and successful season.

Prior to moving to the United States, Nordin played competitive basketball in her hometown for six years. According to Nordin, though,the level of basketball that she played was not at the same caliber that she is now adjusting to at Staples.

“Basketball isn’t that big there [in Sweden],” Nordin said. “We would only practice two hours a day, three days a week.”

This prior commitment that Nordin was used to holds a strong discrepancy with the packed schedule that girls’ varsity team has this year. The girls currently practice two hours a day, six days a week.

But despite acclimating herself to the schedule, Nordin remains excited for the upcoming season.

“I am most excited to help the team make it to States and go far in FCIACs,” Nordin said.

Marisa Shorrock ’20 comments on what it is like having a member of the team come from a foreign country.

“I think it is a very unique and special experience for all of us,” Shorrock said. “Having someone from Sweden on our team has been awesome and hearing about her experiences with life, basketball and school overseas has been really interesting.”

Nordin looks to play center and power forward this upcoming season. Her height and athletic capabilities enable her to navigate those positions successfully.

“At the beginning it was hard because I had never played center before, but surprisingly I am one of the tallest on the team so it is fun to try something new,” Nordin said.

Shorrock adds emphasis on the importance of Nordin in this season.

“One of our tallest and most talented players, Arianna Gerig ’20, unfortunately tore her ACL before the season,” Shorrock said. “That was definitely a huge loss for us. Alva is a girl that can fill that role. She is tall, athletic and has a very high basketball I.Q.”

Marley Lopez-Paul ’21, a player on the varsity basketball team, comments on Nordin’s transition onto the team.

“She has definitely integrated herself pretty well. She has a lot of friends on the team and we are all super accepting of her not being native to America,” Lopez-Paul said.

Nordin was thankful that the team created a welcoming environment for her.

“They were very open,” Nordin said. “They invited me to do stuff with them. It was a good first impression.”

The Wreckers face Bethel for their first home game at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 . “I want to make an impact by spreading a lot of energy,” Nordin said, “and cheering on the other girls to do better.”