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Dominance is nothing new to Davydova

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Basketball has taken Maria Davydova around the world, but New Zealand has and will always have a special place in her heart.

The Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats’ forward learnt about the Land of the Long White Cloud from her father, who was a visitor here in the 1980s with the Soviet Union’s National basketball team as a referee.

As fate would have it, she forged a relationship with Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Ram, Michael Karena, while the pair were playing in Spain and he helped her on her quest of visiting the South Pacific.

Davydova said New Zealand couldn't have turned out any better than what she expected. ’

I was so excited to visit New Zealand and it’s been a wonderful experience so far.

My dad told me about all of the "Māori traditions he observed in his time over here and has countless photos from his trip.

I"’m really loving it here and enjoy playing in the WBC (Women's Basketball Championship).’"

Her journey to New Zealand started at age 10 when she took to the court for the first time.

Swimming and tennis were sports she was also invested her time in, but when push came to shove it was the hardwood that won her favour.

Davydova's swift development saw her progress through the ranks and represent Russia in multiple age-grades National teams. ’

The Wildcat then took up study at Moscow State Agriculture Academy, where she won numerous National titles and collected MVP honours.

Her dominance in the Russian tertiary league put her on notice and Florida International University (FIU) came knocking with a two-year scholarship.

Davydova said she was happy with her life at the time and that it was her family that convinced her to make the move abroad.

Their coach (FIU) contacted me after another Russian girl had told them about me."

Originally, I said no, but after sitting down for a family meeting, they all said I should go over and so I changed my mind."

It was also a chance to go to Miami, which was another place I always wanted to see.""

She averaged a near double-double in her two years at FIU before returning home to take up another round of study at the Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture.

Her passion for travel was aided by her basketball ability, with professional teams in Spain and Ecuador paying for her services. Davydova will return for another stint in Spain at the end of the WBC.

The Wildcats are the latest team reaping the benefits of her play, with Davydova averaging a staggering 15 rebounds to go along with 16 points. They also occupy second place on the table.

This Saturday they play the AM I FIT Otago Gold Rush at the More FM Arena Edgar Centre at 1pm.


Individual game stats here.

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