Begic prepared for record-breaking season at UALR
by Tonio Gayden
Making shots is nothing new to UALR volleyball player and 2013 Sun Belt Conference Pre-Season player of the year Edina Begic. She’s been making shots since she was 8 years old and playing basketball in school. Now the 6’2 junior outside hitter is making shots on the volleyball court.
With Begic, a junior, being just nine kills away from making program history with 1,000 kills, most people wouldn’t think that volleyball was not her sport of choice growing up in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Begic started off playing basketball in school, and it wasn’t until she moved that volleyball became part of her future.
“At my new school it was the only sport they offered,” Begic said
Change is sometimes inevitable and hard. It can either make you a stronger person or a weaker person both mentally and physically.
From learning a new sport to making a move to the United States, she also learned a new definition of hard work and what being a team is all about. Meeting new people can be difficult, but for Begic, the team made it easy for her and she adapted very well.
“The difference is huge. I feel the team is more together [in the U.S.]. You have to work harder and practices are harder than back home. You have more opportunities here,” Begic said about her transition to the United States.
If one thing in her life is for sure, it’s her work ethic and leadership. Belgic led the entire nation in kills and points for the 2012 season and you could see why in her practice efforts. Just by walking through the halls of the practice facility, you can hear Begic’s voice above anyone else’s.
“I need to work harder for my team, because, me as a captain, I need to talk more to help the team,” Begic said.
Like LeBron James hitting trick shots in practice, Begic seems to be able to do the same.
During a lull in practice, she threw the ball in the air and set (hit) it in a basket full of overflowing volleyballs perfectly. There are just certain talents great players possess and, as her resume indicates, Begic is a great player.
Speaking of LeBron James, a free throw to him is like a serve to Begic. Just as he spent valuable time working on that part of his game, she spends hers working on her serve. A serve, just like a free throw, could be the deciding factor to winning or losing. Seeing the court better is one of her main focuses.
Her volleyball IQ is another focus area of hers. She wants to become smarter and more proficient as game situations occur and change, and to be wise in her decisions. You can place a check mark next to “understands the game” for Begic.
All athletes have a certain music genre or song that puts them into their pre-game mood; Begic said she prefers something uptempo and hyper. It helps place her in a mindset that will give her attitude a boost. Attitude is what Begic will be using to help initiate the new season for herself and her team as she expects a successful season and hopefully another player of the year award.
She looks to join Tanja Radovic (4.11 k/s, 1997-2000) as the only UALR volleyball player to average more than four kills per set.
Begics career resume is an impressive one: 4.50 kills per set, 991 kills, 76 aces, 2013 per-season player of the year, 2012 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, All-Sun Belt First Team 2012, 2011 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, and All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team in 2011.
Begic’s statistics will stand the test of time and she still has her senior season ahead of her.
“Whatever you believe you can achieve,” Begic said.
With an attitude, work ethic and skill set like Begic’s, it’s likely the journey to a historic season will be an easier one.