REYKJAVIK, ICELAND- The Newberry College basketball duo of rising sophomore Nicola Handreck and alumnus Aegir Steinarsson represented the scarlet and gray in spectacular fashion last week, as they both earned medals at the 2015 Games of the Small States of Europe.
Handreck represented Malta in the women’s basketball competition, becoming the first Newberry women’s player to represent her country at the senior international level. Malta went 1-2 in the competition to come away with the bronze medal.
Malta opened the tournament with an 83-73 loss to host team Iceland, where Handreck scored 11 points on a perfect 100 percent shooting day, along with seven rebounds and three assists. Malta struggled from the floor in its next contest against Luxembourg, but Handreck scored a team-high seven points along with three rebounds and an assist in a 64-42 loss. In what amounted to the bronze medal contest to close the tournament, Malta rolled to a 72-41 victory over Monaco, with Handreck scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds.
Steinarsson represented Iceland in the men’s basketball competition, starting at point guard and winning the silver medal after a 2-1 record in the competition.
Iceland rolled to an 83-61 win in the opening game against Andorra, where Steinarsson had a great all-around game with seven points, four rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while turning the ball over only once. Iceland took an 81-72 win over Luxembourg in the second game of the event, with Steinarsson netting three points with six rebounds and six assists. Iceland settled for the silver medal after a 102-84 loss to Montenegro in the final game. Steinarsson scored six points with three rebounds and six assists in the medal game.
Steinarsson’s average of 6.7 assists per game led the men’s tournament. Iceland’s next international competition will take place in the prestigious FIBA Eurobasket tournament in September. Iceland is in Group B, which will play its games in Berlin, Germany. Their group foes are Italy, Germany, Serbia, Spain and Turkey.