Chilliwack basketball star Deanna Tuchscherer ready for Hungarian adventure

The UFV women’s basketball standout is going overseas to play pro basketball

The first thing on Deanna Tuchscherer’s checklist as she settles in to her new basketball home?

Learn how to say the name of her new basketball home, Zalaegerszeg.

“It’s called Zahaladaburg,” she said with not a lot of certainty and a little laugh. “I’d better avoid saying that to locals as much as possible.”

Be patient Hungarians. She’s a smart person and she’ll get there.

The G.W. Graham grad and UFV Cascades star flew out Saturday, bound for Zalaegerszeg and her first pro hoops gig. The 19-year-old forward is joining NTE NKK in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I/A, the top women’s league in Hungary.

Talking on the phone late last week, the teenager was equal parts excited and nervous.

READ MORE: UFV stars Deanna Tuchscherer and Katie Lampen sidelined by pandemic

READ MORE: Thousands of athletes in limbo as universities grapple with COVID-19

“I don’t know too much (about Hungary), but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go,” Tuchscherer said. “I did some Googling and it definitely looks like an exciting place and I’ve heard it’s got pretty good basketball.

“I think I’m more excited than anything. There’s definitely going to be some challenges on the culture side of things. Szia is hi in Hungarian, so I do know one word.”

If it sounds like Tuchscherer hasn’t had a lot of time to think about this it’s because the idea of playing hoops in Europe is barely two weeks old.

“It was a pretty quick decision,” she said. “As soon as things started to shut down (due to COVID-19), I knew the season at UFV might not look the way it usually does. All of us (on the UFV women’s basketball team) have been figuring out how to make the most of this year, and when this opportunity was presented — talking to some of my teammates and coaches and my family, it seemed like the best way to develop as a player.”

Tuchscherer will be tested, playing against women who are several years older than her. She’s not been told what her role on the team will be, but she’s hopeful she’ll get lots of floor-time.

“My rookie year at UFV was good preparation for this because I played against women who were older and more experienced than I am,” she said. “I found it exciting getting out of of my comfort zone and being challenged to a different level, and I’m excited to see how I can use this to learn and get better.”

Off the court, the Chilliwackian is better equipped for this adventure than most would be, thanks to her international experience in the Team Canada program. She’s been to Europe before, representing her country in FIBA competition.

“Over the past three or four years, I’ve been to places like India and Belarus, and it definitely helps me now,” she said. “It won’t be my first time in a country where I don’t speak the same language, but basketball is the same wherever you go, so in that sense I think I’ll be okay.”

Tuchscherer will have a few items in her suitcase to help her ‘feel at home.’

“With technology these days, you can call or text someone whenever, so that’ll help me to stay connected,” she said. “As far as my suitcase, I’ll have a G.W. Graham shirt. I don’t know why, but everywhere I’ve traveled I’ve had a G.W. Graham shirt packed, so I’ll do that.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

basketballUFV Cascades

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Stock photo
$93,000 in COVID-19 emergency support available to Abbotsford charities

Applications now open for grants through community foundation

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

The Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moves from the Chilliwack Mall to allow for physical distancing. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress file)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read