01 - 09
July 2023
7 Ajsa Sivka (SLO)
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Super Slovenian ace Sivka still adding to an unforgettable 2023

KONYA (Turkey) - Whatever happens in the future, it's likely that the 2023 calendar year will always be viewed as one of the most formative and pivotal for Slovenia's standout star Ajsa Sivka.

Of course, the 2005-born prospect had already landed on the wider women's basketball radar 12 months ago with glimpses of her talent at the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup.

And, now Sivka is taking center stage at the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship 2023 - just a few weeks on from being the youngest player at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 in Ljubljana.



Sivka turned heads when she signed for Italian powerhouse Beretta Famila Schio last summer - having previously spent time at LDLC ASVEL Feminin - but there is no doubt whatsoever that 2023 has seen the volume turned up to an altogether different level.

Back in April, Sivka was able to experience a first EuroLeague Women Final Four. Not bad for her debut season in the competition and at just 17-years-old. After all, it was the first time this famous club had ever made it to the showpiece season finale. She then followed it up with Italian domestic silverware. 

"This season was amazing - to be part of this and be in the history of the club," reflected Sivka.

"Since I’ve been at Schio, I've been practicing with the first team with great players. It's crazy to defend them and to play against them.

"Just watching them play and actually being there, it's a lot to learn. To use these things now in the younger [national team] selections is the most important thing."

Of course even the EuroLeague Women Final Four wasn't even her biggest event of 2023.

Last month, Sivka got to play her first FIBA Women's EuroBasket and did so on home soil in Ljubljana. Even if the co-hosts didn't manage to get a win on the board, it still proved to be another great chance for Sivka to soak up every second - both on and off the court.

"It was a crazy experience as I was the youngest player there and playing against my idols," she explained.

"There were players in EuroLeague Women and WNBA everywhere - playing against them was a pleasure for me. I learned a lot from them. It was a good thing for me to get this opportunity."

With Slovenia's rotation shortened, Sivka was effectively fast-tracked as one of the leading contributors and came out with huge credit - even being listed as one of the players who had logged a breakout tournament.

Her basketball skills and maturity shone through and she emerged with a terrific haul of 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. That rounded contribution reflects her varied skill-set, height, wingspan, ball-handling and IQ. 

An absolute lock to be a senior leader for Slovenia for the next 15 years, you might think that Sivka would feel like she is coming down to earth with a bump now that she is at the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. 

The versatile forward is relishing the chance to don the Slovenia vest once again and even if she is one of the top performers across the entire tournament, her positive mentality and team ethos is still what shines through.

"I think that no-one expected us to be good at the beginning as we are a very small country, and I feel like people don't even know us," she declared.

Well, everyone might be a little more aware now that Slovenia are unbeaten with three wins on their way to taking top spot in Group D. 

Sivka concluded: "We have a great chemistry on the team. If we play together and as a team, we are so good and I think we can go until the end this time."

And, with 2023 only just over halfway done, you would certainly not back against Sivka inspiring a deep run for her team and adding one more reason why it's going to prove a year to truly remember.