Welkom terug Molly!

Molly McDowell heeft afgelopen zondag tegen Bemmel haar rentree gemaakt in de eredivisie en nog veel belangrijker, in een Lions tenue! We zijn super blij dat Molly, met al haar ervaring, zich heeft aangesloten bij de selectie van Marlous.

Nieuwsgierig als wij zijn, willen we hier natuurlijk meer over weten! Hoe is het met Molly, waarom heeft ze de keuze gemaakt zich aan te sluiten & hoe is ze met haar leeftijd hersteld van de wedstrijd (inclusief 2 x overtime) tegen Lekdetec? 😉

José vraagt het onze “Lion at heart” Molly!

Welcome back Molly! How are you? 
I am good, busy, but great to be back at the court! It does take a bit more multitasking now then it did when I used to play. Now, I understand all the teammates that I had throughout the years better, that had full time jobs, and I was only worrying about basketball. It makes a difference in the energy that you can bring to practice but nonetheless it is really really nice to be back on the court! 
What was your last season playing and coaching for the Lions?
I ended my career as a player in 2015, so 7 years ago, time flies! (J): I was one of the lucky ones to have you as a coach… Yes, I stayed with the Lions until 2017, and in 2017, I took the full-time job at the Dutch Basketball Federation, working with the development team.
How are you enjoying your job at the Dutch Basketball Federation?
This is exactly what I want to do! The fact that I can work full time in basketball… I never thought I had the chance to do that in The Netherlands. It flowed from a playing career into a coaching career really nicely. I am coaching the young talent team. This is exactly the job that I want to have. As you know there are not that many full-time jobs like this one in The Netherlands, and I really like to work with the young girls. I think I can have an impact on how they develop and how they can move into the next stages of their career.
I fully understand that you like to work with these young talents, and it suits you well. And now, you joined our team! Back at the Lions again, but it is a different team with familiar faces. You played with Nadine & Kim, but what about the other teammates, did you ever play with them?
No, nobody else that I played with. Almost everybody on the team I either played with or coached at some point. Even the younger girls like Lindsay, Epiphany and Lies, I coached them when they were younger. Charly and Loyce I coached in national teams. I think the only person that I never “worked” with is Myrthe. But we did play against her in the competition. It is different to be in a coaching role versus being in a team-mate role. I am familiar with everyone in the team, but now, I am the “new” one coming into the team, so it feels a little bit weird as I was a Lions for 7 years. Everybody else always came into the program as the new one.
Why did you decide to join the team?
I have limited expectations when it comes to playing time. I feel like I can bring something to this team, that at this point they don’t have. I’ve seen a few games and since Tanya’s injury I see young players on the point guard position that maybe aren’t always super comfortable on the point guard position and/or leading a team. I didn’t want to join the team to take playing-time away from them, even though I know I will take a little bit of time away from them, but more to help them grow within their role. Learn and develop, hopefully make them better for the future. It is not my plan to keep playing for a long period of time, so it is the idea to help them develop, make them leaders of the team, put players in the right position to be able to score, run the right plays at the right time.
On Sunday you played your first game in Bemmel, how did you experience that?
I was nervous… I had shaky and sweaty hands! Didn’t know what to expect… It was really nice during the warm-up and when it got time for Marlous to put me in the game, I thought:” Oh my! This is really going to happen!” You would think that after the number of games I’ve played in my career that coming back and playing a game wouldn’t make me very nervous, but it did!
You are also a coach, and your talents that you coach might look at your games and see you as a player. They might confront you with the “Practice what you preach” -phrase?
Yes of course! And this weekend we will play against 3 of my players at Binnenland. They are talking trash and saying they will guard me and make me look bad. It is definitely that I don’t feel the same as I did years ago when I stopped playing or when I was on the “height” of my career. It felt really good to be on the court last weekend. I didn’t expect to get on court, score 20 points. I think for my first game it was fine.
The game had 2 overtimes…? Yes, I didn’t play a lot in the fourth quarter and the 1st overtime, and I had to come in cold in the second overtime due to foul-trouble. That is also an adjustment for me, when I was at the height of my career I would be on the court at every moment of exciting games. To be on the bench and help the players in that situation is also really different but I think that I can bring something to the team there. Going into huddles before Marlous comes, I can share what I see also.
I noticed that you played an active role in timeouts when the coaching staff was aligning…?
Yes, I think the other girls, apart from Loyce, are not used to doing that or aren’t very comfortable taking on that role without Tanya being there as a playing role, anything I see that can help them on the court, I will do. 
How do you feel after the first game? You are not 20 or 25 years old anymore…
Nope! I am definitely not, but thanks… Honestly, I feel pretty okay luckily. I had one hard fall, where I thought: “Ai! This fall felt different then it did 10 years ago!”  I didn’t know if I was going to get up from that one! But obviously the next day I felt okay, we had a lower intensity practice on Monday, so that helped me as well. It takes me definitely longer to recover, so I am curious to see how this will go in the playoffs, having to play 2 games a week. We can conclude that it doesn’t feel like it used to, but it didn’t feel that bad.
Good to hear that your recovery time was better than initially expected! We play Binnenland this Saturday, after that the playoffs start against Lekdetec/Bemmel. How do you feel about these quarter finals? I think it is a really good match-up to be honest, the two teams are pretty evenly matched. The outcome can go either way although I think we have more scoring possibilities. If you look at them, they are reliant on two players from a scoring perspective. We can go deeper off the bench. I think we have the upper hand. If we can slow down the 2 players that scored combined 60 points against us on Sunday, you can not keep them scoreless. If we can keep them around 20, we have a high chance to continue to the semi-finals. After the last game with 2 times overtime, it is not only going to be exciting to play the playoff-games against Bemmel, but also watch the games. Yes, I think so too, and there has always been a good competitiveness between Bemmel and Landsmeer over the last years. We have played them a couple of times in the finals and the atmosphere is good when we play our away game in Bemmel, and the atmosphere is always great in Landsmeer. It is a really good competition for a quarter final.
How do you look back at your career and experience at Lions? I have two questions that go hand in hand. One is “How do you look back on your career at Lions” and the second one is “What do you like most about the Lions as a Club, the Lions-Family?”
I am getting a bit emotional because the Lions are my family! Even when I was not playing or coaching anymore, not being active in the club, being able to go to the ICL for anything felt like home. I came back to Landsmeer when I was 28 years old. Being away from my home and my family in the States, the Lions-family has been the most comfortable place I’ve ever lived since I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 17. I have been accepted here with open arms. Every team I was a part of, if it was coaching or playing, really was my family. So now, coming back, just being in the ICL three to four times a week when we have a game at home, gives me a ton of energy and is comfortable for me. I missed that for a while during Covid because we were not able to come and watch the games. For me this is coming home!
Last question, we have been struggling financially over the last seasons, it is difficult to find companies that want to help us to proceed our journey as a team, is there something that you can say to potential sponsors on why they should invest in this team? Why do you think they should sponsor us? 
I think especially any local business that are around, go visit the ICL on any weeknight and look at all the kids that are growing up playing basketball. Or go on a Saturday or Sunday and look at all the teams that are playing and see the kids that are hanging around the club, these kids going to eventually want to continue playing when they are older. For me, women’s basketball in The Netherlands is Landsmeer. I can’t imagine Landsmeer not having a team on the highest level, where they can also be competitive not necessarily just a team in the competition. Without the money it makes it hard to compete. Almost everybody that comes to Landsmeer loves Landsmeer and wants to continue playing here, so I hope that we are able to find a head sponsor that can financially support us, so that we can reach those dreams. That the kids that are growing up playing basketball, have a team that they can watch, that they can get aspired to for their next step of basketball.

Nieuwsgierig om Molly weer te zien spelen? We spelen zaterdag om 17:15 thuis in het Indoor Centrum Landsmeer onze laatste reguliere competitie wedstrijd tegen Binnenland.

We starten de kwartfinale van de playoffs op woensdag 13 april uit in Bemmel tegen Lekdetec en wij ontvangen de Bemmelse dames op 16 April om 19:30 in Landsmeer. Komen jullie kijken?