Former University of Montana Lady Griz to Play Pro Ball Overseas
Snohomish, Washington native and 4-year Lady Griz Sammy Fatkin is taking her talents overseas.
Fatkin announced Wednesday on her Instagram page her basketball journey is continuing at the professional level in Germany. Her next stop will be with the Girolive Panthers Osnabruck in the Damen Basketball Bundesliga, the top women's basketball league in Germany. The Panther announced the signing shortly after. Fatkin decided Osnabruck was the destination due to the team's image.
"I chose [Osnabruck] because it's a great team in a reputable league." said Fatkin via text message. "Their style of play aligns with my favorite parts of the game."
It's hard to say what Sammy's favorite part of the game is since she did everything for the Lady Griz last year. In her senior year, Sammy was a stat stuffer. She led the team in total points (362), was 2nd in points per game (12) and rebounds per game (6), 3rd on the team in assists (74), and led the way with 39 steals. Montana will have a difficult time replacing that kind of production, but Lady Griz leader Carmen Gfeller will miss her off the court just as much as on the court.
"I didn't realize how much I leaned on her supportive nature until this spring when we were going through workouts without her!" said Gfeller via text message. "Sammy is a fierce competitor and a strong leader on and off the court. She really takes the time to connect with all her teammates and is so encouraging."
Gfeller knows the level of intensity and work ethic Fatkin carries with her will make her an asset at any level of basketball.
"She is a tireless worker," said Gfeller. "I respect her discipline as an athlete so much, and I know she will elevate the level of play no matter what gym she is in."
Playing professional basketball is a unique experience that a vast majority of college basketball players will never experience. Fatkin doesn't take this opportunity lightly and is looking to soak it all in.
"I'm blessed that basketball is giving me the opportunity to experience the world, create new opportunites and push my abilities at the next level." proclaimed Fatkin.
The European style of play is unique to how the game is played in the States. Fatkin relished the prospect of learning a new style of play.
"I'm beyond excited to learn the European style of basketball in a place that's rich in history and culture. To gain new perspectives and experience endless growth and opportunities" said Fatkin.
GiroLive Panthers Osnabruck and the Damen Basketball Bundesliga
The Panthers play ball in Osnabruck, Germany, a city located in Northwest Germany with a population of over 164 thousand according to a quick Google search. The Panthers' home arena is called the Schlosswallhalle... a little name than places like Adams Center or Worthington Arena.
There are 32 teams in the Damen Basketball Bundesliga (DBB). The DBB originated in 1947 when Jan Munich won the original championship title.
If you're interested in catching Sammy in action you have to wait until October. The DBB runs from October to March. Follow the Girolive Panthers on their website for schedules and news.
Fortunately, Google can translate a majority of the German text, so you can follow along. Sammy will be using a translator app plenty when she moves to Germany.
"At the moment, I speak 0 German, but Duolingo is my new best friend," Fatkin laughed.
Good luck Sammy. Missoula, the University of Montana, and the state of Montana are pulling for you.