Respect στην Λίντια Μίλκοβα Βαρμπάνοβα ! - ΓΣ ΕΣΠΕΡΙΔΕΣ ΚΑΛΛΙΘΕΑΣ




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Respect στην Λίντια Μίλκοβα Βαρμπάνοβα !

Αφιέρωμα στην Λίντια Μίλκοβα από την περιφέρεια του Βoise State (Big Sky η περιφέρεια του ΝCAA)  όπου φοίτησε και έγραψε ιστορία το 1990-1994. 
Για όσους δεν γνωρίζουν Αγγλικά θα υπάρξει και μετάφραση !
Πάντως repect στην Λίντια που είναι μια σπουδαία μορφή του παγκόσμιου γυναικείου μπάσκετ και είναι τιμή μας που ανήκει στον Ίκαρο Καλλιθέας .
No. 24 Boise State's Lidiya Varbanova

It’s never easy moving away from home. It is even harder when you move far from home and don’t speak English.

That’s what Lidiya Varbanova faced when she entered Boise State University.

“When I came to Boise I spoke no English, so it was a really difficult beginning (academically),’’ she said. “I had to really work hard to pass classes so I would be able to play.’’

Varbanova, originally from Varna, Bulgaria, was a member of Boise State’s women’s basketball team from December 1990 through the spring of 1994. Varbanova was a four-year starter at center and was selected as Boise State’s first Division I All-American honorable mention, earning the honor as a junior and a senior.

Varbanova got the attention of other Big Sky coaches quickly as she was named conference Newcomer of the Year in the spring of 1991. As a senior in 1994, she was named the league’s MVP.

“I don't mean to sound modest, but I think that it's better if individual awards in basketball do not exist,” said Varbanova. “It is a team sport and that's the beauty of it. So MVP or any other award mean nothing if the team is not successful.”

The 6-foot-4 Varbanova still holds 12 Boise State records, and she ranks 24th on the Big Sky’s list of "25 Greatest Female Athletes."

“I am really thrilled that Boise State and the Big Sky remembers me,” said Varbanova. “Here I should probably share a secret. My plans are to go back to BSU and finish my education two years from now (when my son finishes high school). I didn't finish back then, so I plan to do it eventually and I can't wait to see everyone who remembers me.”

Varbanova’s coach was June Daugherty, who currently coaches at Washington State.

“Lidiya is the finest and the most talented basketball players to grace the Big Sky Conference and on the other opponents nationally,” said Daugherty. “Her elite offensive skills led her to set and hold the NCAA field-goal record in both men's and women's basketball for numerous years.”

Varbanova scored a school-record 1,834 points and grabbed 770 rebounds while shooting 67.4 percent from the field during her career.

“Lidiya was one of the smoothest and skilled post players ever to have played the women’s basketball game,” said Montana State head basketball coach Tricia Binford, Varbanova’s teammate at Boise State. “She always had a counter, a way to shake off her defense and finish at the basket with ease.”

“Lidiya was a point guard’s dream because if you could hit her, she’d finished,’’ added Binford. “She was always an assist waiting to happen. As a teammate, she was humble, selfless, and just a great person. She is someone I respect as a player but more importantly as a person who has always been driven by her faith in God.”

Varbanova led the nation in field-goal percentage as a sophomore and junior. She was named a Kodak Honorable Mention All-American. She was also one of nine finalists for the Champion Player of the Year award, and was named to the Bulgarian national team during the summer of 1994.

“Lidiya was a coach’s dream because of her passion to honor the game by giving her all every practice and competition,” Daugherty said. “She was a winner on and off the court by her values and actions with others.”

During Varbanova’s sophomore year, Boise State went 14-2 in conference and won the school’s first regular-season Big Sky title. At the championship in the Boise State Pavilion, the Broncos lost in the championship game to the University of Montana.

In her senior season Montana and Boise State posted the same 12-2 record and shared the regular-season title. Montana won a coin flip to secure the right to host the postseason tournament.

The Broncos lost to Montana in the championship game, but were still invited to play in their first NCAA Tournament. Boise State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Washington. This marked the only time that the Big Sky received an at-large bid to the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

“When we got to the NCAA tournament in 1994 that by itself was a great thing,” said Varbanova. “But I really wanted to win a few rounds and get even further, unfortunately that didn't happen.”

During her career, Varbanova set a national record for field goal percentage, making 67.4 percent of her shots.

After a successful four years at Boise State, Varbanova went home and continued to play basketball. She just started her 15th season in Athens, Greece.

Not only has Varbanova continued to play, she also coached the Macedonian national team for three years. Varbanova started a private basketball school for kids ages 6-14, with roughly 120 kids in the program.

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