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Thursday, June 13, 2024

From international player to SEC starter: Alberte Rimdal finishes second season with Gators

Rimdal is the program’s first Danish signee

Florida guard Alberte Rimdal shoots the ball over a defender’s outstretched arm in the Gators' 90-79 loss to the Louisiana State Tigers Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023.
Florida guard Alberte Rimdal shoots the ball over a defender’s outstretched arm in the Gators' 90-79 loss to the Louisiana State Tigers Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023.

Coming from overseas, Alberte Rimdal has always been a hooper. 

The sophomore Gators guard is a 21-year-old Koge, Denmark, native, and she’s the first Danish recruit on the Florida Gators women’s basketball team. She frequently started during the 2022-2023 season. Rimdal grew up around the game of basketball and is now living out her dream — playing in the SEC.

Rimdal began playing basketball at the international level for Denmark when she was just 15 years old, playing more than 50 games for the Danish women’s national team and making a large impact offensively; she averaged 13.5 points in the 2019 U18 European Championship.

Rimdal did most of her damage from behind the arc and became known as a sniper from 3-point range. She established an identity for herself as a player through her love of shooting.

“I can shoot all day long,” Rimdal said. “I love to put work in.”

Basketball has always been a family affair for Rimdal. Her older sister, Cirkeline Rimdal, played the 2022-2023 season as a senior at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her sister started playing first, Rimdal said, and she followed shortly after, beginning in second grade. 

But it was her father, Brian Rimdal, who had the biggest influence on her early love for basketball, she said.

“I got into basketball because my dad played,” Rimdal said. “I’ve always been in the gym when he’s been there and came to all his games.”

Rimdal’s father not only exposed her to the game at an early age but also served as her head coach when she started playing. She was also able to play with a lot of her friends on her teams during her early years, which helped the game feel more natural, she said.

Perimeter shooting continues to be a huge part of Rimdal’s game now for UF. She’s shooting an efficient 37.6% from 3-point range this season and is one of the team’s leaders from behind the arc. 

Although Rimdal has been very effective as a player since coming to Gainesville, the adjustment from international play to NCAA Division I competition took some time to get used to.

“When I got here to college, basketball is much more professional,” she said. “All the facilities and all the money they put in the sport … there’s a lot more time invested in it.”

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Rimdal didn’t initially start for the team when she arrived as a freshman for the 2021-2022 season. Despite this, she was able to carve out an effective role for herself as a shooter off the bench. Rimdal scored an average of 4.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1 assist per game in an average gameplay of slightly over 16 minutes. 

“I feel like the tempo or speed of the game is faster here,” Rimdal said. “People are more athletic.” 

Coming off the bench provided Rimdal with time to better understand and adjust to the college game, and it was essential going into her sophomore season. During the 2022-2023 season, she’s seen improvement in every statistical category.

She became a starting guard for the team as a sophomore and has nearly doubled her output this year. She’s averaging 8.6 points per game to go along with 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. 

“I’m playing more minutes than last year, and I think that has something to do with my confidence growing,” she said.

Rimdal’s year of experience living in Gainesville has also been instrumental in her improvement as a player.

“Last year everything was new to me,” Rimdal said. “This year, I kind of know what’s going on. It’s way more comfortable for me, and I have a lot more confidence this year.”

Confidence has been a major point of emphasis for Rimdal as she continues to grow. She feels much more confident this season, she said, and her teammates have echoed that sentiment.

“One of the biggest things with [Rimdal] we were working on is confidence — trusting her shot, trusting her reads,” Florida fifth-year guard Zippy Broughton said. “When [Rimdal] comes in the game off the rip shooting, we love it.”

Few people know Rimdal’s game better than Broughton — the two share a very special and close relationship, Broughton said. She transferred to Florida after her junior year playing for Rutgers University in New Jersey. The pair of guards entered the program together for the 2021-2022 season and have had a tight bond ever since.

Broughton explained the two pride themselves on pushing each other to be better every day. She described it as a competitive yet loving relationship.

“If I see she was at the gym before me, I will try to be there before her a few minutes earlier just to know, ‘You know I beat you,’” Broughton said with a smile on her face.

Broughton was sidelined for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season due to an injury in October. Despite her injury, she said, she still prioritized Rimdal’s development and growth as a player.

“Throughout the year, we would do mobility sessions together or workout sessions,” Broughton said. “Anything that she may not see on the court, I can help a lot off the court.”

Broughton’s leadership and willingness to help have left a major mark on Rimdal’s game and is a big reason she continues to gain confidence.

Rimdal does not want to stop playing basketball when her time at Florida comes to a close, she said, regardless of what the future holds.

“My biggest dream is to play in the WNBA, but I will for sure play professional,” she said.

If she doesn’t make it to the WNBA, she plans on playing at the international level and traveling to different countries for basketball, she said.

As the women’s basketball season comes to a close, Rimdal will be looking to have an even better 2023-2024 season and is well positioned to do so.

Contact Austin Stirling at Follow him on Twitter @austinstirlingg.

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Austin Stirling

Austin Stirling is a third-year journalism major and sports reporter for The Alligator. He previously covered Gators women's basketball and is primarily covering soccer during the fall 2023 semester. He is a huge New York sports fan and is hoping the Jets can be a respectable football team for once in his life this season.

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