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

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

The annual Rotary Christmas Parade won’t be going ahead this year as it did last year, rolling through downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Rotary Christmas Celebration for children will replace downtown Chilliwack parade this year

Parade committee felt it ‘inappropriate’ to host Christmas parade with thousands in the stands

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

John Redekop, with wife Doris, was the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV. (Photo courtesy of UFV)
Nominations open until Oct. 30 for UFV’s Betty Urquhart Awards

Award recognizes ‘significant impact’ of volunteer work by an individual or group

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read