“I’m the grandmother at the age of 23” Eden Rotberg looks to lead Sharon Drucker’s Israel National Team

Nov 9, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

The Israel Women’s National Team gets into action on Thursday when they host Latvia on Thursday (6pm) at the Drive In Arena. The Blue & White will have a full complement of players at brand new head coach Sharon Drucker’s disposal including captain Eden Rotberg who returns to Israel from Belgium for the European Championship qualifier.

Rotberg is currently the only Israeli in Europe at this time and with her experience and drive at the age of 23, anything is possible. The Sports Rabbi spoke to the Blue & White star ahead of the EuroBasket qualification game on Thursday night.

“We have a very important game coming up and our goal is to come into the game as ready as possible and do the best that we can as we continue to look forward. In two years time we have the European Championships here in Israel which we are hosting and I can see that we are continuing to develop game by game.”

Guy Pnini & Eden Rotberg – Photo Credit: IBBA

This campaign features a new face in women’s basketball behind the bench, “I am very happy that Sharon Drucker is with us which has brought new blood into the program and something new for woman’s basketball. We are slowly but surely learning one another, his style of play and the type of person he is. It will take time but I believe that if we have patience we will get to the results that we really want to reach.”

Currently Rotberg is the only Israeli playing in Europe with Liege in Belgium, “Playing abroad has been fun and a real experience but if course not easy. There are times when you really need to be very mentally strong but I am satisfied with my decision and for anyone who wants to see the world and experience something totally different then one should go and give it a shot.”

As for role models, Rotberg says that Shay Doron is the player who she looked up to and even had the opportunity to play with, “I get this question a lot and it’s Shay Doron who I played with. She is absolutely made of gold and an incredible person above all else. I learnt the game from her.”

With so many positive changes in the makeup of the squad from the players to the staff, Rotberg believes that the national team is on the right track, “It’s all a process. Many of the women are young and I am the grandmother here at the age of 23! We are getting to know one another and there is no question that we should be at this level and it’s just a matter of time.”

Guy Goodes & Sharon Drucker – Photo Credit: IBBA

Head coach Sharon Drucker also talked to The Sports Rabbi about taking on the new challenge for him in his illustrious coaching career.

“This is a new experience for me and for someone who has done a number of things basketball, this is different. It’s an honor to put on the National Team shirt and we have an immediate challenge coming up on Thursday night against Latvia with the next game only coming in a year’s time. The goal is to come into the Eurobasket on June 15, 2023 in the best shape. We know that the Basketball Association knows how to host an event like this and put on a good show while using every card we have from players who are in college and outside of the country.”

“But right now we have to focus on Thursday’s game against Latvia. I told the players that I believe in them but we need to believe in ourselves which is the most important thing. We will come in and play hard, play focused and aggressive while playing together and go from there.”

Drucker will have arguably Israel’s top player in his arsenal as Eden Rotberg who plays with Liege will be his leader, “I never coached her but I got to know her by watching her games on TV. We got to know each other when we spoke while she was in Belgium and she has been just a treat to coach and she knows exactly what she wants and is a true captain. I hope that on Thursday that we will see the Eden that we are used to seeing with the Israel National Team who is aggressive on both sides of the court. It;’s great to finally be able to coach her and not just watch her on TV!”

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