(CBS Local)– Basketball has taken Amanda Zahui B. all over the world.
The Stockholm, Sweden native first started playing hoops when she was 10 years old and ended up becoming the #2 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft after a stellar career at the University of Minnesota. Zahui B. is in her second season with the New York Liberty after getting traded and feels she is finally starting to feel comfortable on the floor.
“I didn’t expect to get traded, so that whole part was very tough. I thought I failed, instead of focusing on the new opportunity,” said Zahui B. in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “Finding who you are on the professional level is different than an amateur in college or high school. It has taken me a lot of time, probably longer than what I wanted it to, but it happened at God’s pace and that’s what I have to trust.”
Zahui B. had six blocks in New York’s most recent loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday. The New York Liberty center has had a lot of people help her along the way in her career, but one of her biggest supporters has been head coach and 2x WNBA champion Katie Smith.
“I always respected her and I always felt respected back,” said Zahui B. “We have had great communication from day one. So I’m just happy that she’s doing what she’s loving and that she can be a head coach. She’s a great coach and has an amazing basketball IQ. I’m happy that she’s not only on the sideline, but the main one on the sideline fueling us with her knowledge and energy… I definitely think we have a special group.”
The Liberty are back in action Friday night against the Washington Mystics. While Zahui B.’s game is still developing, one of her proudest moments in the league so far was blocking 5x WNBA All-Star and WNBA champion Brittney Griner.
“I blocked Brittney Griner when I played in Tulsa and I was mad hype,” said Zahui B. “I was like, did y’all see that, and they were like run the other way. I like matching up against Liz Cambage. We definitely play physical against each other. That’s always fun.”