March 16, 2023
Anchored in the efforts to spotlight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) student-athletes, the initiative See How She Got Started showcases and tells the story of how some of the conference’s talented student-athletes first got involved in sport and have made their way to the varsity stage on which they currently shine. It is also hoped that their stories can inspire young athletes to aspire to compete in varsity-level sports.
Year of Eligibility -
Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela
Program of Study -
Human Kinetics (Movement Science Stream)
How did you first get involved in your sport?
I began playing basketball thanks to my PE teacher in kindergarten, who happened to be one of the assistant coaches of the youth basketball teams at my school (Needless to say, I do not remember vividly how this happened😅). I was told that he saw athletic potential in me in one of our PE classes and sent my parents an invitation to attend a basketball practice. From then on, I have not stopped playing ball.
What most interested you about your sport that made you want to pursue it at a high level?
The competitive nature of basketball, how fun it is to play (and win), and a desire to learn how to work and succeed with others. In my opinion, the mental side of basketball is as important as the physical, which makes basketball one of the most challenging sports to play and a powerful tool for learning and developing life skills.
Was there a specific moment/experience that led you to believe you could compete in your sport at a high level, and if so, what was it?
I don't think I lived a single experience that instigated that belief. Instead, I think the combination of all I got to live during my childhood through basketball (the friendships, the wins, the losses, the trips, etc.) is what motivated me to work hard to get better every day. My confidence in believing that I could make it to the university level spurred from that—YEARS of practice and TONS of repetitions.
What is your fondest memory/experience of being involved in your sport thus far?
Definitely getting to play for my country (Team Venezuela). Such accomplishment showed me 2 major things: (1) we all have the capabilities of accomplishing what we set our minds to as long as we have the willingness to work hard, sacrifice, and PERSEVERE when needed. And (2), that I was playing for something way bigger than just myself.
Is there someone who inspires you to continue to pursue your sport at this high level (i.e., coach, professional athlete, family member, etc.) and what makes them an inspiration to you?
My parents, no doubt. I would not be here without ALL the sacrifices they have made for me to reach my dreams. Without their support, I would have not continued playing basketball. They are my biggest motor and inspiration.
What excites you most about continuing your athletic journey at the varsity level within the OUA?
Definitely continuing to learn (about and through the game) and grow, both as a person and as an athlete. I believe that embracing different roles, facing challenges and dealing with them, and sharing with different people every year will help me to develop valuable skills that apply to life in general. And last but not least, what excites me about the next years is the vast amount of memories there are to create through my career as an OUA athlete.
What is/are some of the more unique aspect(s) of your sport that others may not know about?
Mmmm, I think something everyone sees but very few people notice is the physicality of the game—it is generally underestimated. I do not mean to undermine other disciplines, but in my opinion, very few sports are as demanding (strength and conditioning-wise) as basketball is.
If someone else was looking to start playing your sport, what one piece of advice would you give them to get them started?
Basketball is a beautiful but challenging game. Appreciate the value behind both things, you'll be a better person because of it.
What is one critical thing that you do to try to continue to experience improvement within your sport (i.e., specific drill/exercise, training regimen, routine, etc.)?
Three lifestyle components that I prioritize are nutrition, training, and sleep. Those are the three major areas I am trying to improve this season: - For nutrition, I meal prep and make sure I hit my macros according to the stage of the season. - For training, I schedule my life around our practices and lifts, putting extra shooting/skills sessions whenever possible. - For sleep, I am working on going to bed around the same time every night (10:00 - 10:30 pm) and hit at least 7h of sleep (8h is my goal).
What would you say to your 10-year-old self about playing and staying in sport?
Basketball is fun and can open a lot of doors. It will make you a better person, but it will never define WHO you are.
Is there one strategy that you find works well for you in creating a positive student/athlete balance in your life?
The biggest ones are: time management, meal prepping, and taking breaks (and in this, I mean disconnecting a couple of days from the sport once the season is over).
Head to the SWSCD Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.
Start a group around a physical activity in your neighbourhood. Explore events. Check out our SWSCD Hub.
Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Basketball activity page.
Have a sport, recreation or physical activity accomplishment you'd like to celebrate and shout out through SWSCD? Become a SWSCD member and share your story directly on SeeWhatSheCanDo. Or, simply add the hashtag #seewhatshecando to your public social media posts and SWSCD can help you inspire others around you.
Blog Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
Photos courtesy of Ontario University Athletics and SeeWhatSheCanDo unless otherwise indicated.
Invite your Friends to join the SeeWhatSheCanDo CommunityCopy this link and send it any way you like.
Connecting you to active women, local groups, events, businesses and more.
Choose your location
orDon't use my location, default to Toronto, ON.