Megan Rosenbohm, Graham, is preparing to start her second year as a professional basketball player with the BK Liepaja LSSS team in Latvia.
Latvia is on the Baltic sea between Lithuania and Estonia by Russia. Rosenbohm has learned a bit of the language, however, practices are conducted in English. Students begin learning English in second or third grade, which has made her European transition more comfortable.
Rosenbohm graduated from Nodaway-Holt High School and Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar. She is the daughter of Mike and Marsha Rosenbohm.
She was the only American player on the team last year. She is hoping for another one this year. The only other non-Latvian player was from Belarus.
“It’s really fun, I’m glad I did it,” she said. “It’s different, but in a good way. I get to take my small-town experience across the ocean and experience another culture and language.”
Her road to Latvia started her senior year at SBU when her coach told her “if you can try it out, why not.” Another SBU player was from Slovenia and he helped Rosenbohm get on a smaller team in his country.
This allowed her to get exposure and stats in European basketball and helped her to build her resume. She played there from October to January. On January 31, she left to start in Latvia.
The adjustments Rosenbohm has had to make in European professional basketball include a 3-point line which is a half meter farther back from the goal. Also she’s had to adjust to everything being in meters, kilos and Celsius, instead of feet, pounds and Fahrenheit.
Another adjustment is the physicality of the game. Things which would be called fouls here, aren’t there.
Rosenbohm leaves for Latvia right after Labor Day to start practice for the season, which runs from October 5 to the end of April. The Latvian team has been confirmed as one of the 16 teams which will play in the fifth season of the European Women’s Basketball League. The final four for this league is scheduled for March 21-22, 2020.
Rosenbohm’s workouts include a shooting workout for an hour, two or three days a week, alternating with an hour-long weights workout for the other two to three days. Practices are for two to two-and-a-half hours, five days a week. Normally the team has a game a week until playoffs when the games are on a three-day rotation.
Sundays are her day off, and if she just has the one day off, she calls home. If she has two days off, she will take a day trip to see the sights in the area.
“Everyone I’ve met so far has been very nice,” Rosenbohm said. “They’re welcoming and want to get to know me. I like the coach, the team, sports director, the head people. They’re all nice and easy to work with.”
“People can’t believe I moved to Europe. It’s good to move out of your comfort zone and try different things,” she said.
The playoff games were live-streamed on the Latvian’s team’s website, so her parents, family and friends were able to watch. The regular season games were televised locally in Latvia.
Rosenbohm is unsure of her plans after she completes her contract this year. She might go to graduate school and would like to be a graduate assistant to help with finances. Her degree from BSU was in marketing and management.