Estonia to Arizona is not an easy switch.
Anna Gret Asi, one of the newest members of the OSU women’s basketball team, felt “out of place” in the desert-like climate of Tucson, Arizona — a vastly different climate compared to her native country of Estonia.
Estonia is located in Europe between the Baltic Sea and Russia. Asi visited Stillwater a few weeks ago before committing and to her, Stillwater felt like home.
“It felt like home because of all the trees and green that was around,” Asi said.
The northeastern European climate is similar to Stillwater. Hot summers, cold winters and unpredictable, such as when a tornado warning went into effect at the same time Asi was on her visit.
“I kinda knew that Oklahoma was the place for tornadoes but I just wasn’t expecting it to happen the day I was there,” Asi said. “We were in (Gallagher-Iba Arena) and we had to evacuate to the locker rooms which was pretty scary because I had no clue what was going on.”
Another reason Asi picked OSU was because of the connection between her and Jhasmine Player, who joined the Cowgirl coaching staff this offseason.
“She recruited me even before I went to Arizona,” Asi said. “She came to my home and visited Estonia, she watched some of my practices. We built a really good relationship and she just kept an eye on me throughout the two years she wasn’t recruiting me. We kinda kept in touch like asking, ‘How are you’ and stuff like that.”
Player built a strong pipeline with European prospects from her five seasons playing in the countries of Spain, Portugal and Poland. When Asi entered the transfer portal, Player again tried to recruit her.
“When I went to the transfer portal she was one of the first people to call me and was really interested in me,” Asi said. “That was one of the main things that made me think more about OSU. The relationship with her, just coming to visit and meeting the whole team, meeting all the coaches and getting to know them pretty well, it just felt right.”
Since OSU’s coaching change, 11 players have left the program.
Asi said she believes she can add in ways of scoring and creating shots for others, which the Cowgirls lacked last season.
“Scoring is what I can add to the team,” Asi said. “I can shoot 3-pointers, floaters, layups and I’m working on my mid-range. That’s one of my main things. But, I can also create shots for others and be aggressive. I first try to create for myself then I find my teammates; that is what I think I’ve always done pretty well.”