Nothing ‘Iffe’ about it! Lundberg becomes first Dane to make NBA roster

Elsewhere, Kevin Magnussen makes return to F1, Nanna Koerstz Madsen makes Danish golf history, and FCK set for St Patrick’s Day showdown

More and more Danes seem to be making the transition to top professional sports leagues in the US. 

Danes have been a mainstay in the NHL for years now, and Hjalte Froholdt recently became the first Dane to play in the NFL since 1982. 

But one league that no Dane has ever cracked is the NBA. Until now.

READ ALSO: FC Copenhagen player’s family member killed in Ukraine

Joins league leaders
Gabriel ‘Iffe’ Lundberg made Danish basketball history over the weekend when he was signed to the roster of the Phoenix Suns.

The 1.93m guard had left Russian giants CSKA Moscow following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and was snapped up by the Suns on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has signed a contract for the remainder of the current season, according to ESPN.

With 53 wins and 14 losses, Phoenix has the best record in the NBA so far this season. 

Nanna makes history
Nanna Koerstz Madsen made Danish golfing history on Sunday by becoming the first Dane to win an LPGA tournament. The 27-year-old from Smørum wrote herself into the history books by winning the Honda LGPA Classic in Thailand following a tense playoff against China’s Xiyu Lin. A fellow Dane, Emily Kristine Pedersen, finished tied for 51st. No Dane has ever won a tournament on the men’s PGA. 

A fine Indian Wells showing
Clara Tauson and Holger Rune were both knocked out of the Indian Wells tournament in the last 32 on Sunday night following close defeats versus stiff opposition. Tauson fell to world number four Iga Swiatek (7-6, 2-6, 1-6). The Polish sensation made the Australian Open semis earlier this year. In the men’s, Holger Rune lost 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 to world number six Matteo Berrettini of Italy, who also reached the semis of the Australian Open. In related news, retired star Caroline Wozniacki has snagged a job working as a TV pundit for US networks covering Indian Wells and the Miami Open. 

KMagz is back in F1
Danish motorsports got an unexpected boost late last week when Formula 1 racing outfit Haas announced it had resigned Kevin Magnussen for the upcoming season. Magnussen, who made his F1 debut in 2014 with McLaren, will team up with Mick Schumacher, the son of F1 legend Michael. The Dane raced for Haas for four years from 2017-2020 before leaving for the IMSA Series in the US. Haas had a free spot following the team’s dismissal of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin in the wake of the war in Ukraine. 

Christensen close to Barca move
According to a number of Spanish newspapers, Andreas Christensen is on the cusp of agreeing a move to Spanish giants Barcelona. The 25-year-old defender’s contract with Chelsea is set to expire this summer and he is mulling a five-year contract with Barcelona. Should the move go ahead, he will join Martin Braithwaite, a fellow Dane, at the Catalan club. Christensen joined Chelsea from Brøndby in 2012 and he has played 155 games for the Premier League side. He also has 54 caps for Denmark to his name and scored a memorable goal against Russia during Euro 2020. 

Kjærgaard tops Eriksen and Bendtner marks
Maurits Kjærgaard’s goal for RB Salzburg against Bayern Munich last week wasn’t more than a scant consolation for the Austrian side in a 1-7 trouncing by the Germans. But the goal meant that Kjærgaard is now the youngest Danish goalscorer in Champions League history. Kjærgaard was 18 years, eight months and ten days old at the time of his goal, which surpassed Christian Eriksen’s record of 19 years, eight months and four days and second-placed Nicklas Bendtner’s 19 years, nine months and seven days. Going back before the Champions League era Gert Jørgensen remains the youngest Dane to score in Europe. He was 18 years, seven months and ten days when he bagged a goal for Brøndby against Budapesti Honvéd in 1986.

Handball ladies reach Euros
Denmark’s handball ladies qualified for Euro 2022 in convincing fashion after beating Romania home and away in qualification earlier this month. Denmark had already beaten Austria and the Faroe Islands and are now assured of a place in the final tournament despite still having two games left to play. The tournament will run from November 4-20 later this year and will be co-hosted by Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.

Fan trouble mars FCK result
In what was a dramatic tie on and off the pitch, FC Copenhagen secured a 4-4 draw against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their UEFA Conference League round of 16 match-up. FC Copenhagen led 3-1 at halftime and 4-3 in the final minutes before settling for a draw. Unfortunately, the exciting game spilled out onto the streets after the final whistle, where Dutch police arrested 86 FCK fans. The second leg will be played in Copenhagen on March 17. FCK will need to progress to the next round should Denmark maintain its top 15 spot in the European coefficient rankings for next season.

Tour de traffic chaos
If you’re planning a trip in Denmark this summer, it might perhaps be best to avoid travel from July 1-3. National road directorate Vejdirektoratet expects the three Tour de France stages in Denmark this year to significantly impact traffic on those days. Roads are expected to be sealed off for 4-12 hours on race days. The first day will involve a time trial in Copenhagen, before the race moves on to Roskilde-Nyborg on day two and Vejle-Sønderborg on day three. 

Vingegaard keeps impressing
Cycling talent Jonas Vingegaard has continued his mercurial rise in cycling with yet another solid result: a podium finish in the Tirreno-Adriatico race. Vingegaard finished runner-up overall in the seven-stage race thanks to second place finishes on stages four and six. A bad bit of news though was that Magnus Cort broke his collarbone in a crash in the race and faces a lengthy break for racing. Last year’s Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar finished top of the podium. In other cycling news, Mads Pedersen won the third stage of the prestigious Paris-Nice race.