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Tryggvi Snær Hlinason (born October 28, 1997) is an Icelandic basketball player for current Liga ACB champions, Valencia Basket, and a member of the Icelandic national team.[1]

Tryggvi Snær Hlinason
Valencia Basket
Position Center
League Liga ACB
Personal information
Born (1997-10-28) October 28, 1997 (age 19)
Þingeyjarsveit, Iceland
Nationality Icelandic
Listed height 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)
Listed weight 118 kg (260 lb)
Career information
Playing career 2014–present
Career history
2014–2017 Þór Akureyri
2017–present Valencia Basket
Career highlights and awards

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Tryggvi was raised on the Svartárkot farm in the municipality of Þingeyjarsveit, an area of northeastern Iceland so isolated that there is no grocery store within an hour's drive of the farm. In a 2017 ESPN story, Jón Arnór Stefánsson, one of the country's greatest players, said about the area where Tryggvi was raised, "It's a situation you can't explain to a person that doesn't live in Iceland or that part of the country. When the weather is harsh, you can't really get to or from it, so you're just stuck up there. It's a unique story, man." One of his youth basketball coaches, Agust Guðmundsson, added that during winter, driving to and from the farm was sometimes impossible for two weeks or more at a time, even with four-wheel drive vehicles.[2]

In 2013, his parents decided to send him to secondary school in Akureyri, the main town of northern Iceland. The country has no basketball program in its secondary schools; his parents planned to have him learn as much as he could, especially in the electrical field, in order for him to help improve their farm operations. Shortly after his arrival in Akureyri, he called Bjarki Ármann Oddsson, then head coach of the under-17 team of Icelandic league club Þór Akureyri, wishing to give basketball a try—even though he owned no basketball shoes, and had never seen live full-court basketball. The coaches at Þór, plus Einar Jóhannsson, head coach of the Iceland U-18 national team, convinced Tryggvi's parents that he had a future in the sport.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Tryggvi signed with the Þór Akureyri in 2014. In his second season, he helped Þór Akureyri win Division I and achieve promotion to the Úrvalsdeild, the top tier league in Iceland.[3] Throughout his third and final season in his native country, he led the Úrvalsdeild in blocked shots. In June 2017, Tryggvi signed with current Liga ACB champions, Valencia Basket.[4][5]

Icelandic national teamEdit

Tryggvi was selected to the Icelandic men's national team in 2016 and helped Iceland qualify for FIBA EuroBasket 2017, which was their second appearance in the nation's history. He was also member of the Icelandic U20 national team that competed in the 2017 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship.,[6][7] where he was named member of the All-Tournament Team. He led the tournament in blocks and efficiency, while coming in third in rebounds and seventh in scoring.[8] Tryggvi became only the third 7-footer in the 21st century to average at least 14 points, 3 blocks, and 2 assists per 40 minutes at the European U-20s, after former NBA player Andris Biedriņš and 2017 NBA draft pick Anžejs Pasečņiks.[2]

Einar commented on Tryggvi's development in the aforementioned ESPN piece: "In 40 months he goes from a kid in a farm who liked sports but never played basketball into being signed by Valencia. Amazing."[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Tryggvi Snær valin í lokaæfingahóp A-landsliðsins í körfubolta". 641.is. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Schmitz, Mike (2017-07-25). "How a 7-foot farmer became Iceland's rare NBA draft prospect". ESPN.com. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Jónsson, Óskar Ófeigur (March 4, 2016). "Þór frá Akureyri komið upp í Domino´s deild karla". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Sæmundsson, Ingvi Þór (June 18, 2017). "Tryggvi til spænsku meistaranna". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Tryggvi Hlinason (ex Thor AK) is a newcomer at Valencia". Eurobasket.com. June 18, 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Tryggvi semur við Þórsara til þriggja ára en spilar líklega ekki með þeim næsta vetur". Visir. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  7. ^ "U20 hópurinn klár í stærsta sumarið frá upphafi!". Karfan.is. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Tryggvi í úrvalsliði Evrópumótsins". Karfan.is. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 

External linksEdit