Captain Lena Gohlisch before Alba’s promotion match: “I played on the boys team at the time”

Lena Gohlisch before Alba’s promotion game

“I still played on the boys’ team in Alba”

Thu 14.04.22 | 13:28 | Of Shea Westhoff

Picture: Alba Berlin / Florian Ullbrich

Assistant physician Lena Gohlisch is the leader of Alba’s women’s team. On Friday, they play for promotion to the Bundesliga, in front of a large audience as part of a double match day with Alba’s men. An opportunity for sports, Gohlisch believes.

rbb | 24: On Friday, your team will face the Rhein-Main Baskets. The match will be played in the Mercedes Benz Arena in the afternoon, before the men play against Ratiopharm Ulm in the top match in the evening. An appropriate scene for the Alba women?

Lena Gohlisch: I think so. In the pre-season we were only allowed to play one league match due to corona, this season we had almost no audience at all. It’s very, very nice now to have a home game in front of this large audience. I was there three years ago when we used to play in the Mercedes Benz Arena, then in front of 2,000 people (Note: in November 2019 against Charging Hawks). It’s something special again. That is not the standard for women’s basketball, even the Premier League.

Lena Gohlisch


imago pictures / camera 4

Lena Gohlisch27 years, working full time as resident in a geriatric clinic in Berlin, often more than 40 hours a week. that native berliner grew up in Prenzlauer Berg, where he learned to play basketball. Since Three years she plays for Alba Berlin and is now captain. The meeting place for the Alba women is usually an adjoining hall Max Schmeling Hallin front of 300 to 400 spectators.

According to Alba’s sports director Himar Ojeda, the upcoming doubles day with men should help women’s basketball get more attention. How do you rate this measure?

It’s a good option. We already notice that because we are successful, but also because the female sector at Alba is generally growing, the interest has grown a lot. I think the upcoming match in front of a large audience is a great opportunity for our team, for Alba as a club and for German women’s basketball in general.

Alba Berlin has for several years emphasized its commitment to women. How does it make itself noticed?

I also started playing basketball at Alba and was still on the boys team back then because there simply wasn’t a girls team yet. Therefore, I can judge how things have evolved. Especially since Himar Ojeda is here (Note: The Spaniard has been the sporting director of Alba since 2016) and with the Spanish coaches, things have changed. I think women’s basketball has a different status in Spain. There is another interest, another demand.

How is the new requirement expressed?

We have three professional players this year who are young but who are really only here for basketball. We started three years ago with one player. We also notice that we have several options in other areas: Whether it is the individual training with the men’s coaches, whether it is about financial opportunities or the opportunity, something has happened year after year.

To what extent do you see the potential for a women’s basketball boom in Berlin?

Regardless of Alba, the city of Berlin has been at the forefront of women’s basketball for years, for example when I think of the two highly talented Sabally siblings who now play in the American WNBA. Years ago I played in Berlin in the second division (Note: at TuS Lichterfelde), at that time we paid players a contingent – in Germany’s second highest league. It was all far from what we have now in terms of opportunities. That’s what’s crucial now: Berlin as a city that simply attracts players, and Alba Berlin as a club that is also interested in pushing basketball further.

You approached the Sabally sisters, Satou and Nyara, who now play in the women’s NBA. What role can the two play in German women’s basketball?

The two stand for the perspective that it is at all possible to get this far. I played with them both in Lichterfelde and now I see how they are real role models for our young people. Last year our team had a video link with Satou Sabally, it was just really, really exciting for our young players to be able to connect with her and realize that it is possible to go very far as a woman in basketball, to earn Money Deserves to Be Successful. There are prospects that I did not have at that age because there were no such role models, not even from Berlin.

You work full time yourself as a resident alongside your basketball career. How do you experience the double burden?

It is exhausting, especially when it comes to sleep. Still, it’s really fun. To be honest, basketball is a very good balance for me. One must, of course, coordinate it well in time. But it helps me to train two hours more in the evening to train. And thanks to our good team chemistry and last but not least our success, it was much easier than I had expected to coordinate both.

How would you describe your current team, what makes the team special?

We are very diverse. Different players take responsibility. This unpredictability is what defines us. And that we really never gave up. Even in matches where we were 20 points behind, we sometimes managed to turn them around because we just kept going.

Alba won the first match of the playoff semifinals against Rhein-Main Baskets 84-70. You enter the second round on Friday with a 14-point advantage, even in front of your home crowd. What else could go wrong?

In the first playoff round against Bamberg, we comfortably won the first match by eleven points. In the second half, we were suddenly twelve points behind after the first quarter. It can happen very quickly, that’s the beauty of basketball. We can not rest on our laurels, we should aim to really win the battle.

What match are you waiting for on Friday?

I can imagine that the first few minutes will be marked by nervousness on both sides. It was the same in the first match, regardless of the setting, for it is only a playoff semifinal. Both teams will have adapted tactically after the first match because the teams play in different seasons and did not know each other very much before the playoff meeting. The first leg was certainly very intense, very fast. I think you can expect the same for the second stage in Berlin.

Shea Westhoff conducted the interview for rbb Sport.

Broadcast: rbb | 24 Inforadio, 14 April 2022, at 08.15

Posted by Shea Westhoff

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