Cougars women’s basketball in Greece
The team welcomed this challenge of shooting hoops against new groups
The University of Regina women’s basketball team has recently returned from playing in Greece. The team participated in a five-game exhibition opportunity where they played against other teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). They had the opportunity to play against five teams and overall, it sounds like the team had a great time overseas. Now, with the team back in Saskatchewan, the players are getting settled and ready for the season to continue.
We spoke to Brenna Metz, who plays in the position of Wing and is a part of the Cougars women’s basketball team, about the team’s time in Greece. Right from the beginning, Metz shared that the team had an overall great experience on the trip and there were no disappointments. “It was a really good experience all around,” she said. “Playing in Greece was cool. Playing against those teams and seeing how we compete against them is amazing. […] Being able to see how we compare against those top athletes was a great experience to see and have.” Playing against those teams was a challenge, but the athletes viewed this as a positive opportunity. The team had a great time in Greece, as they heard about the tour quite early in the year and were well prepared. Metz stated that they “first heard about in February […] and we laid down the expectations of the summer. Starting May 1, we had practice four times a week. Two of them being scrimmages/shoot camps, and workout camps twice a week. It was a long stretch.”
But after all that preparation by the Cougars, did it help prepare the team for the exhibition? According to Metz, the preparation did help, but the actions involved were different. “The sport was very fast and more playmaking against other teams. Playing against these teams was more one-on-one focused. They were very talented one-on-one. Personally, the team had a disadvantage in height. All those girls were tall and that is not the case for our team. […] Reflecting back, the only skill difference that we could physically see in the teams was the fact they played more together and trained differently. […] Compared to us we had an advantage where we are short and fast. We were constantly running and moving compared to more controlled plays.” It is good to hear that the team had some advantages and did their best. Hearing that there were two different setups during the game would have made it very interesting to watch and probably even more to play.
Next we talked about off-the-court time and the overall benefits of the trip. Metz found it was “good for our rookies coming in. Great bonding experience. Especially considering it was such a high-level competition. […] We also got time to enjoy ourselves. Considering the fact it was a hard summer of practicing and that it was stressful at times, […] but in the end, it all came together, and I was happy with the overall experience.” It was good to hear that the hard work paid off in the end. Now, even though the team went there for basketball and to play in the exhibition, the athletes also got to have quite a bit of fun. “We spent most of our time down in Athens and downtown. We spent time in Plaka which was shopping, and we got to do a boat tour where we got to see three different islands. It was so beautiful and probably my favourite part. We got to see the water, go swimming on the beaches, and see different parts of Greece. It was so nice to relax, get to dance to music, and chat on the boat. We even got the chance to learn traditional Greek dancing and overall had a lot of fun!”
Maybe we can catch the Cougars team using those Greek dance moves in a cheer celebration at a game or in the introductions. That would surely be something unique, different, and memorable for the crowd.
The team trained hard all summer, got to travel to another country, play against challenging teams, and explore together. Having spent all that time together, does the team feel better prepared to take on the remainder of the season? Metz said she’s “excited for the upcoming season. Our rookies are coming in very strong; it was good to get the first game jitters out of the way, we all like each other and I am just excited to have another great year!”
It was wonderful that Metz and the Cougars basketball team had a good time and a fantastic opportunity in Greece. The team members went from working hard in the home gym to flying, to exploring and playing in another country. It is also exciting that the team is now ready for the season coming up. We are looking forward to seeing another awesome season from the women’s Cougars basketball team!