2013 @FGCU_WBB Graduate Joyce Iamstrong Heads to Poland to Pursue Pro Career
MATEJKI, Poland – FGCU women’s basketball alumna Joyce Iamstrong ’13 (Chicago, Ill./Thorton Fractional South High School) has signed a professional contract joined the Energa Torun Basketball Club of Poland this week. Iamstrong will continue her basketball career in the PLKK, the premier women’s basketball league in Poland. The PLKK is one of four leagues granted an automatic position in the women’s Euroleague, the highest level of competition in Europe.
“We are all really proud of Joyce,” said head coach Karl Smesko of Iamstrong’s new position. “She improved tremendously in her time at FGCU. She worked very hard for this opportunity, and I know she will make the most of this experience.”
After transferring from Jefferson College, Iamstrong spent two strong years with the Eagles. During that time she compiled 441 points, 154 rebounds, 63 steals, 111 assists and a field-goal percentage of .430.
“My new team is great,” explained Iamstrong. “They welcomed me in as if I had played with them before, and I do not feel like a stranger here. Whenever I struggle with learning a new play or if the coach says something in Polish, they turn to me to explain what he said and they have really helped me adjust quickly. The coach is awesome. He speaks English and Polish very well, and goes back and forth in practice and in the games so everyone understands. I am so happy and grateful he has given me the opportunity to play here.”
As a senior, Iamstrong started in and appeared in all 34 games to help the Green and Blue to a 27-7 overall record and a perfect 18-0 season in the Atlantic Sun. She averaged 28.7 minutes, 12.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in her final season and led the team in scoring on 10 occasions, while putting up more than 10 points in 22 separate games.
Iamstrong was stellar for the Eagles in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament. The then senior scored a career-high 23 points and pulled down six rebounds in the Quarterfinal matchup against Kennesaw State and followed with an even better performance in the following two games. In the Semifinal, Iamstrong went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field, including 4-for-4 from three-point range. She totaled 22 points in the contest to lead the Eagles past UNF and onto the Championship game. In the tournament final, Iamstrong again set a new career-high with 31 points against Stetson. Her performance in the three-game swing earned her the honor of Most Valuable Player in the Atlantic Sun Confernce Tournament.
Upon completion of the season, Iamstrong was named the Eagle Award recipient for the team in recognition of her contributions to the team and her outstanding play at the A-Sun tournament.
As an underclassman, Iamstrong recorded 14.4 points per game at Jefferson College, while shooting 44.5 percent from the floor. She helped her team to a combined record of 53-13 in two years and led the squad to the 2010 NJCAA Division I National Championship game.
“My time at FGCU helped me achieve this goal in so many ways,” continued Iamstrong. “Coach Smesko helped me be able to study video on my own and know what to look for in the teams we play against. Coach Mel [Thomas], [Abby] Scharlow, [Chelsea] Lyles, and Derm [Chelsea Dermyer] have all helped me during my training. They still treated me like I was their player and continued to coach, critique, and develop my skills in the offseason. Eric Krause has been in my corner since we lost in the championship game at the A-Sun tournament. I took a week or two off and Eric took me under his wing in preparation for this moment. I cannot thank him enough for all the hard work and effort he put in to help me develop my strength, power, speed and nutrition.”
Iamstrong joined the Energa Torun in Poland this week and played in her first contest on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Iamstrong scored eight points with one assist and one rebound in 13 minutes of action. She will look to help the team continue its recent success as one of three Americans on the team. Although new to the league, Energa Torun has appeared in the PLKK semifinal in each of the last three seasons.
The PLKK season began at the end of September and will continue through January. Information on the team and the league can be found on the league’s website, http://www.basketligakobiet.pl/ and on Facebook by searching Energa Torun.
2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.
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