During the past couple of months, Frida Formann has made good use of the outdoor basketball courts in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shutdown of organized sports around the world, but it hasn’t stopped Formann from continuing to work on her game in preparation for her college career with the Colorado women’s basketball team.
“I can’t wait to get over there and I can’t wait to play with new players, new coaches, new, sort of, everything,” Formann told Buffzone.com this week.
One of five talented newcomers in the 2020 recruiting class for the Buffaloes, Formann carries the most intrigue. As a 5-foot-11 guard/forward who can shoot, rebound and run the point, Formann has off the charts potential.
“She honestly can do a little bit of everything,” CU head coach JR Payne said.
Formann, 19, is the youngest of four children. Her mother played for the Danish national team and her father has coached the women’s national team. Her sister and two brothers have also played basketball.
“There’s a lot of basketball going on at home,” she said. “I definitely grew up in the gym.”
Last year, Formann was selected for the Danish national team and since 2015, she has played for the Vaerlose Blue Hawks in the Danish League.
This past season, Formann averaged 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game for the Blue Hawks. In one game, she had 36 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and six steals, while going 6-for-6 from 3-point range.
“She’s a good 5-11 and has great court vision,” Payne said. “She can post up smaller guards; she’s got great mid-range game; she can pull up (and shoot). She’s very shifty and kind of keeps people off balance.
“She’s just very, very good.”
Payne said Formann is a bigger point guard and physically built like now-former Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft last month. Hearing that name brought a smile to Formann’s face.
“I can definitely see a lot of myself in (Ionescu), but she is incredible,” Formann said. “I have to do a lot of work to get on her level. She’s so diverse, she can do a lot of different things and her competitiveness, I definitely see that in myself.
“I was recruited by Oregon for a bit, and I was really happy about that because I love watching her play. I get inspired by her game a lot.”
It’s certainly premature to compare Formann to Ionescu, who is arguably the greatest women’s college player in history. There’s no question Formann has displayed an all-around game, however, and her basketball IQ is high.
Formann, who has played everything from guard to post during her career, hopes her experience playing internationally and against older players will help the Buffs.
“In Europe, you mature a little faster because you have to play with older players a bit (sooner) and you play for your national team a lot and I’ve played with our senior national team this year,” she said. “That will be something I hope I can contribute with, basketball IQ. I’m not the fastest player, but usually I can use my head to get me that edge.”
Formann has had her eye on playing collegiately in the United States for years, she said. Last summer, she had an initial list of schools recruiting her, but CU wasn’t on the list. In the fall, she had her first contact with Payne.
“I just pretty immediately felt like it was a match,” Formann said. “It’s hard to describe, but I just really loved the way the coaches were and when I came to campus, the minute I left I wanted to come back, so I thought that was a pretty good feeling.”
Boulder was Formann’s first stop on a visit of college campuses last October. She also visited South Florida and Marquette. As soon as she left Boulder, she told her parents, “This is the one to beat.”
The other schools couldn’t match Colorado, however, and she signed with the Buffs in November. She was attracted to the campus, the environmental studies program and the team.
“I really like the coaching staff and the way they are,” she said. “I got to watch real team practices (in October), so it was really fun see they’re really competitive, but they also have fun and there’s just really good chemistry between all of them and that was really important to me.”
Through social media, Formann has kept in contact with her future teammates. Although she has the ability to play all over the court, Formann is projected as a guard and said she’s eager to play with Buffs’ point guards Jaylyn Sherrods and Sila Finau.
Formann is looking forward to all aspects of being a student-athlete at CU, but when it comes to basketball, she’s most looking forward to seeing how she stacks up with her teammates and the Buffs’ competition.
“At home, I’m a strong player and I’m a top player, but I’m going to be in some pretty tough competition in the Pac-12,” she said. “I know what my level is here at home, I know that I have talent and stuff, but (looking forward to seeing) sort of how that fits into a much tougher competition and … basketball is just different in America. It’s much bigger. There’s going to be people at your games and people being interested in the players and everything. There’s that at home but it’s in a very small scale.
“I’m really excited to just experience that love of the game a bit more.”