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Living in America: Stian Emil Berg

January 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Today, we share with you the interesting thoughts of the Norwegian guard Stian Emil Berg. Berg plays for the Northern Illiniois Huskies in the Mid-American Conference.

What made you decide to take the step to the NCAA in your career?

I always knew that I wanted to get out of Norway at some point. Don’t get me wrong, I love Norway and the league, but I knew that if I wanted to be really good I would have to move on. The thought of playing NCAA basketball and especially division 1, was always tempting to me. Sure I wouldn’t mind a pro contract somewhere, but I felt I wasn’t in the position to get a contract anywhere at this point in my career.

Can you describe a bit more your recruiting process?

My recruiting process was a little different I guess. Not many (if any) Coaches or programs scouted me or was interested in me so I had to do a lot myself. With good help from my dad and family I was able to go over to the US for some trips and visits to some different schools. It wasn’t like I was going up to Duke or Uconn and knocked on the door I was visiting mostly NCAA 2 and NAIA schools. I wasn’t sure I was able to get a scholarship at a division 1 school even though my mind was set upon playing D1. People I knew got me in contact with different schools where I got to visit and play a little bit. During all these visits I talked a lot to my buddy Aksel Bolin who was currently going to school at NIU (Northern Illinois) and I decided to go up there for a visit and see what it was like. I liked it a lot, especially the size and the facilities, coach and that I could play with Aksel again (we played on the same team when we were like 12 and the national team).

What are the team goals for this season?

Our goal this season is to reach the playoffs and compete for a MAC championship. Our team is young (5th youngest in the country) this year and we will probably need a little time, but that doesn’t mean we can not compete for a playoff spot this year. As long as we got Seniors we are always trying to play for them and get a championship.

What do you expect as personal development over the next years?

Definitely expect to get tougher and used to physical contact. How to run a team against faster and more athletic guards. Right now I am just working on getting stronger in everything I do, and I think that is key to me succeeding and getting better.

Do you know already in what you will be majoring in?

Right now I am a Business major, but I have no idea what I want to be. Business seems ok this far but don’t know if that is what I want to do for four years.

Norway is far from being a basketball powerhouse. How can you describe the development in your country over the last years?

I am not sure how to answer, but I have noticed a bigger number of players seeking outside of Norway to play instead of just stopping after high school. We are doing a better job of giving good players chances to develop and showcase their skills through tournaments outside of Norway (Regional teams, National teams).

Who would you consider as the biggest Norwegian player of all-time and who would you consider as your model in terms of basketball?

In terms of achievements and accomplishments I would have to say Torgeir Bryn. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Torgeir play in his prime but from what I have heard he was no flashy player, but did his part really good and was a valuable player for every team he was a part of. I can mention a lot of Norwegians I thought would become very very good, but most of them stepped down when they were at their best for different reasons.

My big brother has always been my inspiration and model. I was always following him around to practice and trying to be like him. He was always very patient with me and taught me a lot. He has always been a good example for me both on and off the court. When he went to college after high school, I knew I wanted to do the same and he always motivated me to be the best I could be. He has always been a huge help for me and tried to advise me and point me in the right direction.

Stian Emil Berg is currently averaging 11.7 minutes per games for the Huskies. He scores 2.8ppg and has 0.9 assists per game. His numbers have increased heavily since the beginning of the year 2012 as he is playing 21.5 minutes for 5.3ppg at 8/19 from behind the arc.

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