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Basketball - 08. April 2010.

GRE – Greece women take important steps in basketball

ATHENS (2010 FIBA World Championship for Women) - Greece are eager to build on the success of last year’s EuroBasket Women campaign in Latvia when they shocked nearly everyone with a fifth-place finish.

The ramifications were huge because the Greeks claimed the last spot on offer for the FIBA World Championship for Women.

Evina Maltsi led the Greek team and was so prolific that she was voted MVP of the EuroBasket.

It was a team effort from start to finish for the Greeks, though.

Dimitra Kalentzou was the point guard of the Greek side and is now on the books of Sony Athinaikos, a team she has helped lead to the EuroCup Women Final.

She spoke to FIBA .com.

FIBA: Dimitra, the FIBA World Championship for Women isn’t that far away. Greece will play the United States, France and Senegal. This must be something you are very excited about.

Dimitra Kalentzou: Of course I am looking forward to the FIBA World Championship because it is a dream that came true last summer and we will participate in this in September. We don't have the chance every day to play against the United States.

FIBA: How has the success of the national team and now, the winning streak that has put your club side Athinaikos in the EuroCup Women Final, helped women’s basketball in Greece?

Dimitra Kalentzou: For sure it has been helpful because a lot of people right now know more about women's basketball in Greece. The Greek national team during the summer and now my team, Athinaikos, are helping the Greek basketball fans to understand that the progress in women's basketball has been very big the last three years.

FIBA: Your Sony Athinaikos coach, George Dikeoulakos, was an assistant last summer for the Greece women’s team. He says that you have a very high I.Q. Does that mean that one day, you will coach basketball?

Dimitra Kalentzou: "Thank you, Coach.” Right now, I am a basketball player and I am trying to think this way. It is impossible for me to predict the future, but I am positive in this idea.

FIBA: What will the main goal be for Greece in the Czech Republic?

Dimitra Kalentzou: We play against the Olympic champions, European Champions and the African Champions. It's going to be very difficult for us, but we proved that we can manage hard situations like this. Our aim will be to go to the next phase.

Jeff Taylor

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