Tryggvi Snær Hlinason (born October 28, 1997) is an Icelandic professional basketball player for Valencia Basket of the Liga ACB. He began his career in his home country, competing with Þór Akureyri in the Úrvalsdeild. Tryggvi is a regular member of the Icelandic national team, with experience at EuroBasket.
|No. 51 – Valencia Basket|
October 28, 1997 |
|Listed height||2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)|
|Listed weight||118 kg (260 lb)|
|NBA draft||2018 / Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
Tryggvi was raised on the Svartárkot farm, a sheep facility in the municipality of Þingeyjarsveit, an area of northeastern Iceland so isolated that his family's closest neighbors live 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) away, and 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." Tryggvi himself would say in a 2018 interview with Yahoo! Sports, "There was always work to do on the farm, but the freedom you have is insane. It’s so far to the next house that you can do whatever you like and nobody really cares." One of his youth basketball coaches, Águst 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. During such conditions, the only access to the farm is by snowmobile.
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.
Þór Akureyri (2014–2017)Edit
Tryggvi signed with Division I club Þór Akureyri in 2014. He played sparingly during the first half of the season but averaged 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 blocks in the final 8 games.. In his second season, he averaged 12.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks and helped Þór Akureyri win Division I and achieve promotion to the Úrvalsdeild, the top tier league in Iceland. After the season he was named to the Division I Domestic All-first team and as the D1 Young Player of the Year. Throughout his third and final season with Þór Akureyri, he led the Úrvalsdeild in blocked shots.
Valencia Basket (2017–present)Edit
In June 2017, Tryggvi signed with current Liga ACB champions, Valencia Basket. On September 23, 2017, he won the Spanish Supercup with Valencia. In December 2017 it was revealed that he finish second in voting for the Icelandic Men's Basketball Player of the Year award, after Martin Hermannsson. Throughout his first season with Valencia, Tryggvi would split his playing time between Valencia and their Liga EBA affiliate squad.
On April 16, 2018, Tryggvi declared for the 2018 NBA draft, for which ESPN considered him a potential second-round pick. He was one of only 11 truly international players to declare for that year's draft early. He would ultimately go undrafted.
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, 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. 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.
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."
- Spanish Supercup winner (2017)
- Icelandic Division I champion: 2016
- Úrvalsdeild karla blocks leader: 2017
- Icelandic Division I blocks leader: 2015, 2016
- Icelandic Division I Domestic All-first team: 2016
- Icelandic Division I Young Player of the Year: 2016
- "Tryggvi Snær valin í lokaæfingahóp A-landsliðsins í körfubolta". 641.is. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
- Eisenberg, Jeff (2018-06-19). "How an Icelandic sheep farmer blossomed into the NBA draft's most unusual prospect". The Dagger. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
- Schmitz, Mike (2017-07-25). "How a 7-foot farmer became Iceland's rare NBA draft prospect". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
- "1. deild karla (2015 Tímabil) - Tryggvi Snær Hlinason". kki. (in Icelandic). Icelandic Basketball Federation. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Hermann Aðalsteinsson (29 December 2016). "Tryggvi Snær Hlinason er íþróttamaður Þórs 2016". 641.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Jónsson, Óskar Ófeigur (March 4, 2016). "Þór frá Akureyri komið upp í Domino´s deild karla". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- Óskar Ófeigur Jónsson (6 May 2016). "Helena og Haukur Helgi valin bestu leikmenn tímabilsins". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Sæmundsson, Ingvi Þór (June 18, 2017). "Tryggvi til spænsku meistaranna". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Tryggvi Hlinason (ex Thor AK) is a newcomer at Valencia". Eurobasket.com. June 18, 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- "Tryggvi í leikmannahóp Spánarmeistaranna í fyrsta sigri". karfan.is (in Icelandic). 1 October 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Óskar Ófeigur Jónsson (13 December 2017). "Hildur Björg og Martin eru körfuknattleiksfólk ársins 2017". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Givony, Jonathan (April 16, 2018). "Icelandic center Tryggvi Hlinason declaring for the NBA draft". ESPN. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Tryggvi semur við Þórsara til þriggja ára en spilar líklega ekki með þeim næsta vetur". Visir. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "U20 hópurinn klár í stærsta sumarið frá upphafi!". Karfan.is. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "Tryggvi í úrvalsliði Evrópumótsins". Karfan.is. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "1. deild karla (2015 Tímabil) - Tölfræði". KKI.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 24 September 2017.
- "1. deild karla (2016 Tímabil) - Tölfræði". KKI.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 24 September 2017.