16 - 25
June 2017
24 D'andra Moss (UKR), UKR vs CZE
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Moss making the most of her mission with Ukraine

HRADEC KRALOVE (FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017) – When D’Andra Moss told her family and friends she would be suiting up as a naturalized player for Ukraine at the Final Round, it came as a surprise.

Such is the way of the modern world, it was a cue for some jumping onto Google and Wikipedia as a way of trying to ease concerns.

"They always talk about Ukraine in the context of what they see on the news channels and they don't have the sense of detail I do and that is understandable," revealed Moss.

"No matter where you play overseas, your family and friends are always going to be looking out for you and making sure you are safe and happy.

EuroBasket Women is just so competitive and you can see that right awayD'Andra MossD'Andra Moss

"They are always asking questions more and more - especially now I am playing for Ukraine and that builds the sense that they are along with me for the ride on this journey."

Since parachuting herself into her adopted nation for the last of the Qualifiers, the guard has become acutely aware that success on the basketball court has a deeper meaning right now.

She stated: "This isn't just about doing good things in basketball with Ukraine - it cuts a lot deeper than that because of the difficult situation they are facing politically.

"Doing good things to give the country something to shout about is important. I take pride in being able to help with this and showing that sport can offer unity.

"Winning and giving the people something to cheer and celebrate offers hope and a real positive [outlook] from basketball, so we are really hoping to continue positively."

Moss and her colleagues made a big splash in Hradec Kralove on opening day, with a convincing 59-47 victory against host nation Czech Republic, and it was certainly one to savor.

"There was a sense of relief for me after that first game as it felt like time had stopped and it was never going to arrive," smiled Moss.

"It's huge to get off to a winning start as it was a 'target win' for us that we identified and to accomplish something at the start of any tournament is important."

The 29-year-old is also thrilled to be able to test her credentials against the very best and is out to keep the momentum going.

"EuroBasket Women is just so competitive and you can see that right away," she confirmed.

"You have so many intelligent players with experience and so being athletically stronger isn't enough at this level - you have to be able to do more.

"Being able to combine your physical upsides with thinking about the game in the smartest way is how the elite players and nations are able to separate themselves.

"Confidence-wise, a winning start is a boost, especially because we all feel we can play better.

"We want to make a deep run if we can and going to the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 in Spain would be amazing for us.

"Although we don't feel any pressure as we have nothing to lose and this is just one of many goals for us."