Fáir, ef einhverjir, erlendir leikmenn hafa heillað jafn mikið síðastliðin ár og nýr leikmaður Skallagríms Carmen Tyson-Thomas. Fyrst kom hún til Keflavíkur fyrir þremur árum, þar sem hún meðal annars fór bæði í bikarúrslit og lokaúrslit Íslandsmótsins með liðinu. Eftir það tímabil skipti hún yfir til Njarðvíkur þar sem hún lék með þeim fyrra tímabilið í 1. deildinni og á því síðara í Dominos deildinni.
Í 23 leikjum sínum með Njarðvík á síðasta tímabili skilaði hún 37 stigum, 17 fráköstum og 4 stoðsendingum að meðaltali í leik, en það gaf henni 40 framlagsstig að meðaltali, sem var það hæsta í deildinni.
Það var svo í sumar sem að Dominos deildarlið Skallagríms gerði samning við hana um að leika með þeim á næsta tímabili, en liðið fór sem nýliði í úrvalsdeildinni bæði í bikarúrslit, sem og í oddaleik gegn verðandi meisturum úr Keflavík í fjórðungsúrslitum Íslandsmótsins á síðasta tímabili.
Við heyrðum aðeins í Carmen og spurðum hana út í það hvernig þetta næsta tímbil leggðist í hana.
You are starting your fourth season in Iceland now.
What has suprised you the most since you first came along the way, about the basketball that is played here?
"To be honest, the maturity level in the girls and the level of seriousness and increased competition. Mér finnst að allar íslensku stelpurnar í deildinni hafa bætt sig mjög mikið síðan ég kom, þær hafa orðið betri og tekið þessu með meiri alvarleika. I see younger girls now working out in the summer and off seasons more and more and it really shows when they step on the court. I think WE (haha I'm saying we because I think of myself as Icelandic) really need the rest of Europe to take the Icelandic Premier league more serious and each year we are proving our talent with Helena (Haukar), Sigrún, Guðrún, Jóhanna, Fanney Lind (Skalligrímur), Thelma Dís, Emelia (Keflavik), Ingunn Embla, Dagbjört, Björk( Njarðvik), Ragna Margaret and so many more girls!"
First Keflavík, then Njarðvík, and now Skallagrímur.
What made you decide Skallagrímur was the right move for you this off-season?
"Haha yeah it's just like they say huh, "can't beat em mine as well join em!!" But really this program has always been welcoming towards me, and I admire many of my teammates I am going to play with this year, I've known a few of them for almost 4 years now and they are great athletes. Ég er mjög spennt að spila með Sigrúnu. Hún er mjög hæfileikarík, sterk og klár. The board and Skalligrímur themselves are a family, Flake told me himself one night last season that this is one of the best clubs he could have ever been a part of and I just took his advice. I want to have fun with not so much responsibility on my shoulders, but on ALL of our shoulders. I just want to be A team, not THE team, get me? Spila saman, vinna saman. Bara það."
Going to be playing with one of the best teams in the country from last year.
Will we see a different version of Carmen, compared to the one we saw with Njarðvík these last couple of years?
"I am the same player I am no matter which team or which country, but what you will see differently is my sense of responsibility, Spila saman og vinna saman. lol I don't think I will ever be the same player as in Njarðvik or Keflavik, those were different circumstances for everyone in those seasons. Here in Skalligrímur before signing we talked for a few months about what we all wanted and got clear understandings on everything, this club and board and I have been the most honest I've ever experienced in my life og ÉG ELSKA ÞAÐ. I'm just here to join a new family and have fun with girls my same age and understanding."
Any 50 point performances we should look forward to?
"Hahaha I don't predict me going for 20, 30, 40 or 50 it just happens if it happens. I only look forward to having fun and winning dude lol, every day and night in the gym I'm just working hard to be the best athlete possible! What we can expect to see is great team basketball and us just being us."
How do you feel about your chances?
What does Skallagrímur need to do to get the championship?
"Our team is a very strong team, you've said It yourself, that I am joining one of the best teams from last season and I'm just hoping to come in and build on that. I think our slogan and saying for this season should be "Spila saman, vinna saman og hafa gaman". Wow I'm good, I really just made this up, haha next I'm going to be your favorite Íslenski rappari."
Looking forward to the season?
"I must say I am going to miss living in Sandgerði and hanging out with my little brother Óskar Arnarsson, he really helped me a lot in the gym this summer, but ég er mjög spennt!!!!! Þetta ár verður mjög gott! Spila Saman, Vinna Saman og Hafa Gaman."