After a year of waiting, Matilda Ekh arrives in East Lansing for women’s baskets from Sweden
For the past year, MSU women’s basketball freshman Matilda Ekh played a waiting game.
Ekov kept Covid-19 travel restrictions in her hometown of Västerås, Sweden, which prevented her from joining the team in East Lansing.
“For me, the whole process was really difficult,” said Ekh. “I was supposed to come last year, but I could not because of covid and I could not get my visa back. It has been a struggle, but I am happy to be here.”
Despite this challenge, Ekh continued to train throughout the year.
“I played in the first division in Sweden last year, and then I played with the national team this summer, so I have had teams to work with all the time,” said Ekh. “When I decided not to come, the coaching staff and I just kept talking from time to time to keep up to date with what was going on here, and I kept it updated with what was happening during our season.”
Now the 6-foot guard / forward has finally arrived. The team and the coaching staff have received Ekh with open arms, she said.
“It has been really fun to play with (Ekh),” senior guard Nia Clouden sa. “She is not like a beginner; she plays really experienced. I know she had professional experience abroad, and you can definitely say that. She takes things up very quickly, so we never have to worry about having to explain things twice.”
The big question is why Michigan State? What was the trait for Ekh that drew her in from all over the world?
“It was a tough decision,” Ekh said. “I did not know much about college when I chose, but I had a good feeling about Michigan State and the coaching staff when I was here and visited.”
Ekh is joined by many beginners on the list, including guard DeeDee Hagemann, forwards Lauren Walker, Isaline Alexander and center Brooklyn Rewers. So far, Ekh has looked to be the leader of this class, starting in the showdown against Northwood on October 31 when she collected 15 points in 21 minutes.
“Having (Ekh) here with the incoming first-year student has been fantastic,” said junior guard Julia Ayrault. “They have done a fantastic job of listening and taking in everything and being available. It has been really cool to get to know them, and I am excited to see what they do on the track this year.”
The head coach of women’s basketball in Michigan State, Suzy Merchant, said that the mix of veterans and newcomers in the team excites her for the team’s potential.
“I’m really excited about this group,” Merchant said. “We have about 84% of our points left, our seven top scorers and our NCAA tournament team. They were young last year, but now they are much more veterans. … The new kids who have come in and picked things up really fast. ”
Ekh and the rest of the ladies’ team will start their season on November 9 at Breslin against Morehead State.
“My main goal this season is to adapt and get a place on the team,” said Ekh. “I want to make it as far as possible.”
This story is part of our print edition on November 2nd. See the full issue here.
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