July 8, 2014
By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State guard Natascha Hartvich, a native of Rungsted Kyst, Denmark, has been selected to play on her nation's senior national team.
Hartvich, who will be entering her sophomore year on the Bulldog women's basketball team this coming 2014-15 season, was recently selected as a member of the Danish National Team after a strong showing at the training camp.
As the youngest member of the team, Hartvich was invited three days before the start of training camp when all other members of the team had five weeks' notice.
"I honestly just took it as practice since I am absolutely the youngest on the team," Hartvich said of her opportunity to make the team. "As I got into the training camp and had been testing best on the two tests we had had, I started to get more and more competitive. I did not really have expectations, but I told myself that if I worked as hard as I possibly could and left everything I had on the floor then it was up to the coaches to decide whether or not I had the level to play on the national team."
Playing under head coach Hrannar Holm, Hartvich is joined on the team by fellow Division I players Emilie Hesseldal and Gritt Ryder of Colorado State, Mathilde Gilling of Washington, Rikke Fabricus of Central Michigan and Ida Krogh of Sienna.
Training camp lasted for nine days and Hartvich will be traveling with her team to play two games in Iceland on July 9-10.
GoBulldogs.com caught up with Hartvich at the conclusion of her training camp for this Q&A session talking about making the national team, her summer and goals both representing her country and playing for the Bulldogs.
Q: What does making the Denmark National team mean to you?
A: "It means a lot. Being on the national team is a pride! Standing there with your country on the shirt and singing the national anthem, it's like being in a battle against other countries. It's a huge pride and honor!"
Q: How does basketball in Denmark compare to that in the United States?
A: "It's different. In general it's a little slower, less 1-on-1 and more playing together as a team. It's not as fast as we played last year and we won't shoot as fast as we did sometimes last year. We play less systems and more of a read and react system. Defense is super aggressive man-to-man defense, which I personally love."
Q: What have you been up to this summer when not in training camp with your national team?
A: "I went to Florida to work out at my old prep school, IMG Academy, and visit my friends. Then I surprised my family in Denmark when I arrived earlier than they expected. I had been in France for two weeks on vacation and now I am just back home spending time with my family and friends. I've also been working out at my old club with some of the younger high school kids and my old coach, which is always great to pass on experience to some of the younger ones."
Q: What are your goals playing for your national team and what are your goals at Fresno State?
A: "Our national team is in a rebuilding process where we have had to deal with issues such as the federation supporting the men's team more than us, so my goal with the national team is to prove how good we are as a whole and for us to win these next couple of games to show that we deserve the same kind of attention the men get. Then in addition to that, I just enjoy playing with some of my old teammates such as Gritt Ryder from Colorado State, who I have played with since I was a kid, and Mathilde Gilling from University of Washington.
"My goals with Fresno State is to keep the legacy going. We have been through unexpected things this spring, but we cannot let that us effect us in any negative way. We have a legacy to build on and our Bulldog pride. My goals are to make the team stronger every day, push people out of their comfort zone in practice so we are prepared for games, and then keeping winning. We are not just winning for ourselves, but we are building on a legacy they started years back before I even played basketball - and there is no space for ruin that legacy."
Q: After your freshman season last year, what parts of your game would you like to improve upon?
A: "To just play. I freaked out a little last year because it was so surreal that I had finally reached my dream of playing Division I basketball. Now I'm here and I got to get the most out of it, so for me I have just been working on playing. I have been playing a lot of pick-up games to just get that flow back."
Q: When in California, what do you like most about Fresno State?
A: "Besides the weather, I love the support. It means the world to me the support I have here in Fresno when my family and friends are so far away from me. The fans around the team are like family to me. I love when they come over to you after the game and tell you, even when you played bad, that you did great - it's just like my mum and dad used to do. My team as well, they're always there for me."
Q: What do you miss most about home in Denmark when you are in the United States?
A: "The people and my city. Everything is much smaller there, I have everything within a short distance and can bike around everywhere. It's not like in Fresno where right around the corner is 15 minutes in a car, haha."
"Be Bold" - ESPN2 790 AM is the home of the Fresno State women's basketball team.
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