Photo: File photo
Recently graduated Kristin Turk will be playing professional women’s basketball for Athinaikos this upcoming season in Athens, Greece. Turk, who led the Missouri Valley Conference at 20 points per game last season, sat down with the Times Delphic to discuss her decision to move abroad.
Times Delphic: When did you decide that you wanted to play basketball abroad?
Kristin Turk: I always knew I wanted to go abroad, but I didn’t realize it would be possible for me to play basketball abroad until my senior season. I originally wanted to study abroad in New Zealand.
TD: How do you think your playing style will translate to the European game?
KT: I think the European game is much different. I’ve heard it is more physical and a lot more focused on scoring rather than strategizing. I think there will be a tough transition since I’m coming from a very structured Drake team, but I also think my style of play will fit in well.
TD: What’s going to be the hardest part about adjusting to a new country?
KT: The most difficult part about Greece will be reading street signs and getting used to the culture there. I’ve been told that most people in Athens speak English, but Greece has a completely different alphabet from English, so signs or menus may be tough for me. I’m also a very picky eater so the cuisine may take some getting used to as well.
TD: Do you know where your going to live yet?
KT: I just know in Athens, which is on the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve only been to an ocean once and now I’ll be living in a city on the Mediterranean. I’m really excited for that.
TD: What are you going to miss the most from home?
KT: I will miss Des Moines because it’s the only place I’ve ever lived. I’ll miss the community and the friends and family that I will leave behind. I’m very excited but very nervous at the same time!
TD: What are you going to miss the most from Drake?
KT: I will miss the loyal fan base that came along with living in the Drake and Des Moines community. I love playing in front of thousands of fans at the Knapp Center. I don’t know what to expect as far as a fan base from this new team that I will be with.
TD: What game from Drake will you always remember and which one would you wish having back?
KT: I’ve made so many memories at Drake that it’s hard to point to a single game in my time here. I always enjoyed being out on the court with my teammates, but I think I will mostly remember the times on the court where the team was so in sync.
I have no regrets from my years at Drake, but I do wish that somehow I could’ve led the team to post-season play this past season. I really want them to experience that this year and I will be cheering from afar.
TD: What would your advice be for an athlete that is considering playing in a different country?
KT: Work your tail off. The teams that I received offers from in Europe said that they chose me over other women because of how hard I played.
TD: You are leaving in less than a month, are you more excited or nervous?
KT: I am more excited than anything, but I am very nervous too. Greece is going through a very difficult time economically and I’m going to be in the middle of a little bit of chaos over there. However, as a history major, I couldn’t really ask for a better place to be. I’m also nervous to leave behind the only life I’ve known in Des Moines, but I am confident that it will be a positive experience. Playing for Drake has provided me with so many opportunities that I don’t think I would have otherwise.