GET TO KNOW...MIRANDA AYIM
This series lets you get to know the men and women from our national team programs. This time we discover London, Ont., native Miranda Ayim who is currently playing professionally for the Toulouse Metropole in France.
CB: You've played with Team Canada for 8 seasons, what does it mean to you to play for your country?
MA: There's nothing quite like playing for your country. There's a certain pride you feel when you're representing your nation at various sporting events in different countries. It's inspiring to be with like-minded athletes who are giving of themselves to make the team the best it can possibly be.
CB: 2013 was a fantastic year for the Senior Women's National Team that ended with a FIBA Americas silver medal - and a berth at next year's FIBA World Championships. What was your best memory of this past summer? Which game or moment stands out most for you?
MA: We had a great summer in 2013 ending with the silver medal at the FIBA Americas. It was great to win an automatic bid to the Worlds right away and not leave it to the last second like we did while qualifying for the Olympics! The best moment of that summer was winning the semi-final game which qualified us for Worlds. That was the game that mattered most, and we came through and accomplished our goal. There's very few better feelings.
CB: When you are playing in Europe, what do you miss most about Canada?
MA: That's an easy one: Tim Hortons! (After my family and friends, of course! And my bed!)
CB: You and SWNT teammate Shona Thorburn play on the same professional team in France. How special is it that you are both able to play on the same professional team?
MA: It's great playing with Shona. Sometimes it's difficult learning the playing styles of a whole new set of teammates, especially a PG, who is the leader on the floor. Having Shona here has made that transition much easier because we were already familiar with each other. We have good chemistry on the floor and it's fun playing with her.
CB: Outside of ball, what are you looking forward to the most this year? (any hobbies, other activities + interests?)
MA: Hopefully having a bit of vacation time! Most of us play basketball all year round (overseas during the winter and with Canada during the summer), so I plan on finding time to relax and unwind somewhere sunny :)
CB: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
MA: My pre-game isn't as rigid as some players, but I do tie my shoes very particularly. I don't like the laces to be twisted. I make sure they're all laid down flat. After that, I pop in a piece of gum because I can't play without chewing on some gum.
CB: What advice do you have for young Canadian kids, looking to progress in basketball and become an elite player like you?
MA: Practice hard and push yourself. Don't worry about messing up. You learn from every mistake you make. Try new moves. Don't compare yourself with the player next to you. Their journey is not your journey. Every player has their own unique skill set to offer. This game is mostly mental, so monitor your thoughts so you're hearing positive things and surround yourself with supportive and knowledgeable people.