MVP for November: Ieva Vītola, Vega 1/Liepāja

Ieva Vītola. Photo: Ģirts Gertsons

 As December starts, Vega 1/Liepāja has punched its first ever ticket to the Top 6 tournament while power forward Ieva Vītola is the best scorer. She is the Latvia-Estonia league`s selection for MVP of November.




Ieva Vītola averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and 3,5 forced fouls for a efficiency rating of 23,5. She has scored 199 points in just eight games.


How many monthly awards you have received?

Actually this is my first one. It`s a special feeling as I have played for a long time. Cool – this is like my second youth (smiles).


If it`s the second youth, maybe Ieva Veinberga have asked you to come to play in Italy?

I have asked her to come to play in Latvia! My priority is to finish the studies in the Latvia`s Academy of physical education (LSPA). Yes, I have received some offers but it`s better to play at home.


What are you studying?

Coaching and leadership. It`s a four and a half years course. This is my fourth year, I will graduate in the summer of 2017. It`s much harder to drive from Liepāja to Riga if you compare with the short drive from Cēsis. Sometimes I miss a practice. I`m the lone basketball player in my group.


Where do you practice your skills?

I was coaching in Cēsis sports school twice, while helping Maija Briede and her group. My next opportunity is to coach in Liepāja. Boys or girls – I don`t know yet. Everyone is welcoming and encouraging. I`m happy about it.


How it is to play for Vega 1/Liepāja?

It felt strange to come here as I have no relatives in the Kurzeme region. Luckily, I moved from Cēsis to Liepāja together with Kristīne Silarāja and Ilze Jākobsone. We are living in the same house, with separate apartments for everyone of us. We are helping and encouraging each other. Thanks to my teammates!


Previous and current captain – Kristīna Petermane and Kristīne Silarāja – they both are from Kurzeme.

I can count on every girl when necessary. We feel at home in Liepāja now. It`s a cool town! We have everything we need.


You have a choice whether to walk or to drive by car.

First two months were so warm and sunny – we went for a morning walk to practice most of the time. It takes 25 minutes one way. It`s more windy now so we drive instead.


You have more playing time in Liepāja. Is it hard to cope with?

Offseason work helps a lot. I started to cross country four years ago and fell in love with it. I feel much better now. I run and lift all the time, except few weeks after the season, especially in Cēsis.


There are some hills around in Cēsis.

It`s really good for endurance. I can run for 30-35 minutes while on the court.


How do you explain your shooting percentage?

I have perfected this skill thanks to my former coach Pēteris Višņēvics. He asked me to shoot fast. To release the ball even without looking at it while catching the next one. Thank you coach!