I’m back in the US at the University of Connecticut after an amazing summer with the Tall Ferns and an unforgettable time at the Beijing Olympics.
Competing at my first Olympics was a huge, huge deal that it’s hard to put it into words. It doesn’t seem real when you’re there and then it goes by so quickly.
I made my debut for New Zealand when I was 15 and a couple of months after that I was lucky enough to play at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. It was quite overwhelming playing at an event of that size but it prepared me a lot for Beijing.
The New Zealand Olympic team had our own house in the Olympic Village so everyone was living together. There was such a good team feeling and it was great to be part of that.
I didn’t get to go to the opening ceremony, as our first game was the next day, but we did go to the closing ceremony which was awesome. It felt totally surreal being there.
In the games we did very well with what we have. We only have a limited time together before the Olympics as a lot of the Tall Ferns play overseas in the WNBL, US colleges or in Europe. It’s asking a lot to go out and compete with the likes of USA and Australia.
We had one win from five in a tough pool with the USA, China, Spain and the Czech Republic. It was a great introduction to Olympic basketball. The Tall Ferns are a young team with an average age or around 22. We’ve got another couple of Olympics so it’s really great for us moving forward.
I loved playing at the Olympics. It was great experience for me and I got a lot of maturity out of the games, which I know is going to help me a lot with my game at Connecticut.
In my next update I’ll write more about what it’s like to play college basketball in America.
Thanks for reading.
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