Although she grew up in a family of basketball players and has extensive experience on the court, Frida Formann’s freshman year at Colorado was still a major learning experience.
“It has definitely been like a lot of adjustments I had to make,” said Formann, a 5-foot-11 guard from Bagsvaerd, Denmark. “It was definitely not easy to make them, but I knew I was gonna make those adjustments and I was kind of ready for it.”
Like everyone else, Formann had to adapt to playing a season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also adjusted to a new country, a new style of basketball and a new team.
“I think I learned a lot about my resiliency,” she said. “I know a lot of Danish players who have been to America and played and you learn a lot about their experience, but until you’re here and you experience it yourself, you don’t really know what you’re going into.”
Despite the challenges, Formann had an exceptional freshman year for the Buffaloes (12-11, 8-8 Pac-12), helping them reach the quarterfinals of the Women’s NIT.
Receiving honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Freshman team, Formann was second at CU in scoring (12.4 points per game), while leading the Buffs in total 3-pointers made (62) and 3-point percentage (40.8). Despite a three-game stretch where she went 1-for-20 from 3-point range, Forman led the Pac-12 in 3-pointers per game (2.7) and was fourth in percentage.
“She had a breakout freshman year, but I think next year she could be even better,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “That sophomore year is challenging in some ways but also really good in some ways because now you really know what to expect and what it looks like.”
Formann’s experience includes time with the Danish Women’s National Team. She also averaged 20.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the Danish Women’s League.
She quickly learned that the game is different in the United States.
“I think you saw in the first games I had so many travels and foul trouble, stuff like that because I just wasn’t really used to the way things were over here,” she said.
The style was new, but the workload and detailed game-planning were much different than she was used to in Denmark.
“How much you really practice here, how many hours you put into it, how many hours you put into scouting,” she said. “There’s a lot of preparation going into games, where at home sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh well, another game; we’ll see what happens.’ You just can’t do that here.
“I really tested my focus this year. … It’s a lot of information that you have to keep while also playing and reading the game and stuff like that. I’m pretty excited for next season when I kind of have that down, so I can more focus just on my game.”
Formann came to CU as a point guard but wound up playing more as a two-guard because the Buffs had Jaylyn Sherrod and Sila Finau running the point. That, at times, led Formann to become a shooter, rather than a scorer.
“She’s never just been a shooter,” Payne said. “I think she was just trying to find her way in the chaos of like … next game, next game, next game – it comes so fast.”
Formann admitted she enjoyed some aspects of being a two-guard but wants to be a more aggressive scorer next year.
“The goal for next year is definitely to be more of a three-level scorer and not just a shooter,” she said.
This week, Formann traveled home to Denmark, where she’ll stay until CU players return to campus in June. She is eager to swim in the ocean and eat the Danish food she’s been missing, but also to work with her personal coach and prepare for next season.
“He has a whole plan settled and everything,” she said. “Now I kind of know my game a bit more, I know what I have to work on more: things I thought I was pretty good at and I’m probably not as good as I thought I was at this level. So that’s just what I have to work on and that’s going to be nice. Now I really know what needs to be done.”
On and off the court, this past year has been a major adjustment for Formann, but she looks forward to seeing not only her personal growth but the potential in a team that is expected to improve next season.
“There’s a lot of things I know I can do better and that we could do better as a team,” she said. “I’m just excited for the next season.”