Making the National Team along with an NBI. jersey – these were the dreams of Bogi Katona and which we discussed almost exactly a year ago. With hard work and perseverance these dreams became reality as Bogi was in the starting lineup of the U18 national team that just participated in the Fiba Challenger Tournament. She will also be a member of our first team in the upcoming season. We looked back with her to the previous season
You didn’t have much to for rest in the previous months.
True, it was an unusual summer which was very busy. At the end of the season, I had an easier 2-3 weeks when I participated in optional practices with the first team and individual practices, and I had some time to rest. Then I had a whole week of break after the national team. I tried to recuperate as much as I could.
What are your feelings when you look back to the previous season?
It was a busy season that had dips on an individual as well as on a junior team level. I look back with absolute positive feelings though. Obviously, we have room to improve but I feel that making the top 8 was a nice ending to our season because we did our best.
When you made the first cut of the U18 national team, your junior coach, Bianka Horváth congratulated you on Facebook with a message that said ‘2/2’. What did this mean?
We set two goals before the last season: to make the national team and to make the first team within the club. With this cut, I had achieved both goals.
Let’s talk about the national team first. How did the preparations go?
Foe me, the first period was spent on adjustment; to get used to the playing system and the whole environment. This took a few days since this was my first summer national team camp. Fortunately, I managed to get into the rhythm and in the last 1-2 weeks, all worked well. My goal was to give 100% during this time to close this period with the feeling that I did my best.
Were you surprised that you made the final team? Or were you expecting this along the way?
It was hard to gauge at the beginning who will make the team at the end. This was a very young team; most of us were 1-2 years younger than the others at the Challenger tournament. I went in thinking that I will show what I can do and even if I can’t make the team, I will be back next year. I was a bit surprised that I could go to the FIBA Challenger, but I was very happy.
How do you look back to the tournament in the Czech Republic?
We showed an uneven performance which is too bad because we could have placed better. This was obviously due partly to our inexperience. To me, it was a positive experience because I was a starter in all the games which was surprising to me.
You joined the Nb1 team pre-season last week. How were the first few team practices?
In the past year, I had the opportunity to practice with three different teams. I practiced with the juniors during the season, with the U18 national team in the summer and now with the Nb1 team. I need to get used to this kind of load both mentally and physically. For me, the next period will be about getting into this rhythm.
You played in the last game of the last season in Nb1 so we can say that you were already initiated against Cegléd. Do you ever think back to that?
Of course, players do not forget their first Nb1 game. To me, that was an absolute positive experience, but it also showed what I need to improve on. But it was a big push for me, for sure.
An unusual season ended for you – what are your goals for the 2021-2022 season?
It will be my last season as a junior this year so I would like to be a key player among my peers and support my team the best I can. In the first team, time will tell where my place and what my role will be. I plan to integrate myself and be useful. The first step is to get strong physically to be able play in the first league and everything else will follow.
Photo: FIBA.Basketball/ELTE BEAC Újbuda