By Craig Pearson
TERRE HAUTE — As she had hoped, Melanie Boeglin is going from Sweden to southern Europe to continue her professional basketball career.
The recently turned 23-year-old former ISU standout was hoping to play in France, where younger sister Mary Beth, an international marketing/French major at Butler, will be spending the fall semester studying abroad. But Melanie will be in western Spain.
Boeglin’s next team is located in Zamora, Spain, which is about a two-hour drive from Madrid. With Europe’s public transportation system, she could be on the beach in Montpellier, France, in no time.
“It’s going to be a little better climate for me, I might venture out of my apartment a little more,” Boeglin said.
Zamora is the capital city of the province of Zamora; the city has a population of about 67,000. Sounds like Terre Haute, right?
While Boeglin is happy to get away from the freezing temperatures in Sweden, the winter weather in western Spain isn’t exactly like being on the beach in Barcelona. According to Wikipedia.org, Zamora is a continental Mediterranean climate, but fog is frequent in winter.
David and Joyce Boeglin have already made travel plans for late October. They’ll meet Mary Beth in Paris and then go on to Madrid, but a schedule for Melanie’s team has not been posted yet.
Joyce Boeglin said she actually went to Sweden three times, once when Melanie moved and twice with her husband. She said they may take another European vacation in the spring. (No worries; the Griswolds are not coming along).
Regardless of the location, Melanie is excited about the move for basketball reasons.
She’ll be playing in Spain’s second level of professional basketball. Many players in the Women’s National Basketball Association play in Spain’s top level, so the pride of Terre Haute South and Indiana State hopes to make a name for herself in this league as she did in Sweden.
“It’s definitely going to be a step up as far as the level of competition,” Boeglin said.
The best second-division team in Spain can actually move up to the top division by winning a playoff of the top two teams, giving Boeglin some added motivation.
“The goal is to get to the top level in Spain,” Boeglin said.
Boeglin doesn’t know yet who her teammates will be, but she knows one player that has played in this division in Spain. Former IU standout and Bloomington native Cyndi Valentin played in Israel last season but joined a team in Spain for the playoffs. Valentin, a former AAU teammate of Boeglin’s, told her she had a good experience.
Boeglin will have to be in Zamora on Sept. 1. Her season will be eight months long instead of the six-month season in Sweden.
Between working out, finding pick-up games and vacationing in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Boeglin has kept plenty busy since returning home from a fantastic season in Sweden.
ISU’s all-time leader in assists, steals and games played is also providing private lessons to a handful of future standouts in Vigo County.
E-mail her at email@example.com or call (812) 234-8271. Boeglin will also have a camp from July 9-12, featuring current ISU players as counselors.
Craig Pearson can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone after 4 p.m. at (812) 231-4356. Read his blog at blogs.tribstar.com/craigpearson.