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Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Travels with Canada Basketball

I have always had a desire to travel - whether it be in North America or around the world. I love experiencing new places and seeing new sights. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage. Through this, I was able to visit some
pretty extraordinary places.

For two summers (2012, 2013) I was a member of the Development Women's Basketball team - which is also known as the Senior B team. In the summer of 2012, we travelled to Montenegro and Belgium to compete in a 5-game exhibition series. We first faced off against the Montenegro Senior Women's team. That was quite the experience. Some of the players had been on the team for almost 20 years (now remember, I was only 20 at the time) so it was very humbling. While in Montenegro, which is bordered by Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Albania, we had an opportunity to take a day and go sightseeing. We drove through the rugged mountains down to a little tourist town, where there were shops, beaches, boat tours, and restaurants. It was really cool to experience the culture, and to get a taste of the authentic Montenegro experience. After we played our two games and had some time to explore, we hoped back on a plane and travelled to Belgium.
The team in Budva, Montenegro 
Outside the President's house
Before going on our boat tour in Budva
I have always wanted to go to Belgium - I mean, waffles are one of my favourite breakfast foods, so I was incredibly excited to have this opportunity. In Belgium, we played 3 games against a team that was very similar to us; all the athletes were around the same age and skill level. They were great games, and I am forever thankful to have been able to represent the Red and White. We also had a chance to explore the city and we saw so many fascinating buildings and cathedrals, and even got to see the famous Peeing Boy in Brussels (my camera died before I could take a picture :( )!
Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
The following summer I was invited back to tryout for the Development Team again, and after a 2 week training camp in Toronto, we were boarding a flight to Kazan, Russia to compete in the FISU Universiade - a multi-week competition for University level athletes that resembles the Olympics. It was so cool - we stayed in the athletes village and had the opportunity to connect with athletes from
all over the world. We were able to take a day from practice and competing to take in all that Kazan had to offer, including the historic Kazan Kremlin. The coolest experiences from the trip, and the one that I will cherish forever was walking into the opening ceremonies, like they do at the Olympics, with the rest of the Canadian athletes representing our fantastic country. It was amazing.
The Athlete's Village at FISU
Opening Ceremonies 
The Kremlin
One thing that I have learnt from playing basketball on the International level is that everything comes down to preparation. You need to be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. All success comes from hard work! 



Tessa Kreiger | Marketing Coordinator 

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