Coming off a 28-point, 13-rebound performance in the Norrköping Dolphins’ first win, Chanelle Molina explored her new stomping grounds.
Sweden is a pretty big place, and she and her teammates are taking in the sights on rare days off.
“I went to Stockholm this past weekend and it was huge. Didn’t see much because I was there only for a couple of hours, but I got to visit a local market and I found the tallest building so that I can have a better view of the landscape,” Molina said.
The Dolphins are 1-1 in the Swedish Basketball League. After finishing eighth in the standings last season, they have turned a corner, maybe. Molina’s ability to slash, hit the open 3, pass and defend are making a big difference. She is now averaging 26 points per game since turning pro.
“That first win felt amazing, especially since they are a top team and we beat them in front of our home crowd. The home crowd cheered when good things happened and they weren’t loud when bad calls were made. But that’s a characteristic of the Swedes. They’re very respectful,” Molina said.
Konawaena’s three-time Star-Advertiser All-State player of the year and Washington State standout has taken a number of photos of her new surroundings. She’s also trying the local cuisine.
“When I first got here, my teammate had me try caviar in a tube from the grocery store. I spread that on a cracker and ate it. It was salty, but I surprisingly loved it,” she said. “Their pancakes are really good as well. It’s thin, so it’s basically like crepes. You spread that with fresh homemade jam and it’s money. Other than that it’s a lot of potatoes, meat, and fish. I still have yet to see more of Sweden.”
Then there’s the Swedish language, Svenska.
“I learned how to say, ‘Let’s go’ — Nu Går Vi. ‘Yes’ — Ja. ‘No’ — Nej. And a cuss word because who doesn’t want to learn how to swear in another language,” Molina said.
Molina’s travels have been growing, and the SBL may not be the only Euro league she experiences this year. In the meantime, there are occasional pangs for home.
“I miss Hayashi’s (You Make The Roll), a sushi place in Kona. I order the Jenna roll. And Umekes (Fish Market Bar and Grill). My go-to plate is a spicy crab with sweet potatoes, chicken teriyaki and quinoa,” Molina said. “I also miss pickled mangos! Back home, i would open up the fridge and see that my mom (Roslyn) bought pickled mangos and so I would just eat them not knowing where they came from.”
Norrköping travels north to play Uppsala this Saturday, 2 a.m. Hawaii time. The drive is 2.5 hours long.