Interview with Alex Kugener (28.12.2006)
With Michèle we could at least kick off with a chronology of the perfect Luxembourg Ladies basketball player – with you its T71 all the way.
Yes, from the cradle to the top. Never felt the urge to change, the club has always had the offer I expected, and they were amazing formative years.
I remember you playing in all teams, did your role change over the years?
Yes, I suppose so. As my special qualities or talents emerged I could position myself more and more in the teams. I believe that I can hold my own by now.
Center, but it’s all about team performance and responsibilities. I was taught the game and also expected to take responsibilities by my elders. Now I’m passing that on myself.
Has the team reached its full fighting strength?
We have a good standing at the time. The team is stable and our transfers have been quite successful. Most importantly, we can recruit from our own youth sections. Some of our best players have been with the club from the start.
No need to ask you about the conditions and facilities at T71.
No, I have seen it all and met them all. Coaches come and go, and with Carten Steiner we have now reached a stage hard to top. He found quite a performing team and has succeeded in making it an even more coherent lot.
Did you learn from last year’s experience?
Yes, we did, actually. The team came out even stronger.
What do you expect from part two of the season?
T71 profited from the recess to hone our preparation, and the team is ready for the championship and cup.
Some T71 players have gained their places in the national selection, and you were among the first to renew contact. Does that give you an extra boost?
I definitely enjoy my time with the national team. The experience you gain is tremendous. Of course, there are the enormous differences between us and them, but you can only learn from the contacts.
Not too frustrating?
Well, you don’t get to sing the national anthem very often, but I would like to insist on the gains. Other competitions, the Promotion Cup for example, have teams more in our league, but I wouldn’t want to miss the top competitions. Next to come are the European qualifiers, and I do look forward to that.
What about your T71 team-mates in the team?
There are three of us with the two Wagener girls, and we truly enjoy ourselves. For the club there is only to be gained, too.
How do you manage you sporting and student careers?
I can accommodate my studies in Strasbourg with my playing in Luxembourg. I am also fortunate enough to be able to practice with Racing Strasbourg during the week?
How did that come about?
They saw me playing in Strasbourg and actually asked whether I would be interested in training with them. They play at a very good level in France and I don’t lose in the exchange.
How do you organize your week?
I spend some time on the road, obviously. Strasbourg is a tick under two hours’ drive from Dudelange. This leaves me time for a little extras in Luxembourg, not much though – a drink, a good movie and time with my team-mates off the pitch.
Sounds impressive. Thanks for devoting some of your limited time to us and enjoy your practice and games.
My pleasure, thanks.