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Terps star also shines on European court


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Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland. Diandra Tchatchouang returns to Maryland after leading her native France in scoring and rebounds this summer at the 2010 FIBA?U20 European Championship in Latvia. The France U20 team placed fourth overall.

Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland. Diandra Tchatchouang returns to Maryland after leading her native France in scoring and rebounds this summer at the 2010 FIBA?U20 European Championship in Latvia. The France U20 team placed fourth overall.

Published on: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

By Maggie Clark

Leading her native France in scoring and rebounding during the FIBA U20 European Championship  this summer, the Maryland Terrapins’ Diandra Tchatchouang is a force both on and off the court.

“She led the France U20 team in scoring and rebounding and was a tremendous asset to their team over there,” said Brenda Frese, University of Maryland women’s basketball head coach. “She is gaining great experience just playing the international competition and playing competitively all summer long.”

During her freshman year, the 6-foot 3-inch forward was named NCAA Rookie of the Week three times and named to the ACC All-Freshman and All-Academic teams. She also earned top grades and plans to officially declare a government major.

Remarkably, she accomplished all this while transitioning from her native La Courneuve, France, to American college life—mastering the English language and making friends along the way.

The sophomore returns stateside for her second season as a Terp after leading the U20 France team to a fourth place finish in this year’s European Championship tournament.

“We are thrilled to have Diandra as a part of our team. She’s just a winner through and through,” Frese said. “She competes hard in every play and has been a tremendous presence on our team.”

Tchatchouang was driven to play basketball in the United States and knew Maryland was the place for her.

“I could tell they were a real family atmosphere, and they had many good players that went on to the WNBA,” she said. “I was impressed by what I was seeing.”

And the Terp certainly knows what she is looking at. Since she began shooting hoops at age 8, she has risen through the ranks of French basketball to earn a spot—at age 14—on the national women’s basketball team, Les Bleuettes.

Since then, she has played in European tournaments each summer, and when France won the FIBA U16 European Championship in 2007, Tchatchouang was named most valuable player.

While she has been enjoying her time in France, Tchatchouang is excited to return for another year at Maryland.

“I love working with the coaching staff—they’re very dedicated and professional,” she said.

As for her post-Terrapin days, the Tamika Catchings and Indiana Fever fan said, “I’d like to be in the WNBA, after I graduate.”

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