ZS: What are the key differences in the style of play employed in the United States when in comparison to Sweden?
JS: The biggest difference would have to be in the physical aspects. In America, everyone is jumping high and can play at a fast pace. And the game is much more one on one, while in Sweden there is a lot set plays. In America, you can see basketball on the television screen at all times. In Sweden, the level of basketball is so low they barely show it. It is irrelevant in the country, not like America where so many people are tuning in. The gyms are also much bigger here and you have tools like the shooting gun that are not available at home in Sweden. It’s just more of a basketball culture in the United States. There is not much passion surrounding the game in Sweden. The gyms are old and usually only in schools.
ZS: What’s the main focus for you personally this summer, playing with a proven program such as 1Family and plying your trade out there against high-level players? How do you prepare to be an instant impact guy in the SIAA at Potter’s House as a freshman?
JS: My focus is to get stronger and enter the season in the best shape as possible. This will help me get meaningful playing time. This year I stayed longer in Sweden before coming to the United States, because I wanted to tune up my strength and my skill-set so that I can be able to play at this level without difficulty. The whole purpose was to prepare for the transition.
ZS: Which aspects led to you leaving Sweden and heading to the United States to pursue your goals as a student-athlete and develop as a basketball player?
JS: I had to leave Sweden because the competition and the basketball was not good. I wanted to find the best way to improve my game. This, of course, meant playing against the best competition and the cream of the crop in my age group. Realistically, if you want to get out there and compete against the best you have to come to the United States. It is really a basketball country. My dream is to get a good scholarship at a good Division-I program. Then, get a degree. My goals as a student is to get good grades and of course perform well on the SAT, which will help determine where I go after high school. I like the challenge.