Canada Day 2012 will always be a special date for us at Canada Basketball:  that’s the day our Senior Women’s National Team secured a berth at the London Olympic Games. This series of Q&A’s with our national team players helps you get to know the inspiring women who are part of that team that will represent Canada proudly in London. 

Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
High School: Westdale Secondary School

University:University of Utah
Pro Team: Girona (Spain)
Years with Canada Basketball: 6
Games with Canada Basketball: 74
Canada Basketball - What is your favorite Olympic memory? 

Shona Thorburn - Growing up I remember watching the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and following the women's basketball team; Bev Smith, Dianne Norman, and all those women.  I remember when the 2000 Sydney Olympics where fast approaching I was able to go and watch some of their practices in Toronto before they left.  It was so inspiring to see these women working so hard, getting to know them a little then finally watching them compete in the Olympics.  A year or two later I had the opportunity to play with most of them on the Senior team and it was a little embarrassing because I did idolize a few of them. Haha. 

CB - Which team are you most looking forward to playing against in London? 

ST - No one team.  It will be fun to play against Great Britain as I'm sure they will have a large home crowd cheering them and to play in front of a lot of people is always motivating, even if they are cheering against you.  

CB - What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you and the team at these games? 

ST - Other than Teresa we have no Olympic experience.  The other teams we will play have a lot more experienced players.  So maybe at times nerves might get the better of us.  That being said we are the underdogs, we don't have any pressure on us, so hopefully that keeps our nerves in check. 

CB - Do you have any pregame rituals? What are they? 

ST - I’m not overly superstitious.  I do wear a pre wrap head band which I like to put on at the start of the game along with me popping a piece of gum in my mouth right before the game also.  And it’s the same kind of gum always, Dentyne Ice Intense.  I make sure I travel with lots of it. 

CB - Who is the teammate that you are most excited to see take the floor for the first Olympic game?  Why? 

ST - It’s hard to select just one because every one of my teammates has made so many sacrifices to get where they are today.  That being said I have played with Kim Smith for 11 years.  Starting with the Junior National teams, university, professionally in Spain and now again on the Senior Team headed to the Olympics.  We had a dream when we were teenagers to play at the Olympics together and now finally that dream is coming true. 

CB - What advice would you give to young athletes who are pursuing an Olympic dream? 

ST - If I made it, dreams can come true.  Be prepared to work harder than you ever have, be willing to make sacrifices so when you look back its all worth it.  I encourage everyone to follow their dreams because you never know what might happen. 

CB - Tell us something special or unique about yourself that we might not know. 

ST - I have always wanted to be an RCMP officer!  Who knows, maybe after basketball is over. 

 To read other, "Getting to Know Our Olympians," click the athletes names below:

Teresa Gabriele
Natalie Achonwa 
Alisha Tatham
Michelle Plouffe
Chelsea Aubry
Tamara Tatham
Kim Smith
Lizanne Murphy 
Miranda Ayim 
Courtnay Pilypaitis 
Krista Phillips   

Below is the Canadian preliminary schedule, with the broadcast information.

Time (EDT)
TV Broadcast
Saturday, July 28
6:15 a.m.

London Basketball Arena

Monday, July 30
3:00 p.m.
Great Britain

London Basketball Arena

Wednesday, August 1
4:00 a.m.

London Basketball Arena

Friday, August 3
9:30 a.m.

London Basketball Arena

Sunday, August 5
9:30 a.m.

London Basketball Arena