O’Donel Patriots star back home after helping Canada to third-place finish at FIBA under-17 tourney
Winning a bronze medal for Canada in Amsterdam earlier this week was one of the “best moments” of Hannah Jardine’s life, made even better because her parents and sister were there to watch.
— Basketball Canada photo
Hannah Jardine was relaxing and watching a little television at home when The Telegram called for an interview.
“Very tired, but happy,” said Jardine Monday night when asked how she was feeling.
She had just returned home after helping Canada win a bronze medal at the FIBA female under-17 world basketball championship in Amsterdam and was still feeling excitement of what she and her teammates had accomplished.
The six-foot-one guard contributed six points and two rebounds as the Canadians defeated Japan 84-77, marking the first time this country has won a medal in a women’s world age-group tournament.
“We had high expectations of ourselves coming out of training camp,” said the St. John’s native who is going into Grade 12 at O’Donel High School.
“We knew our team was deeper than last year,” noted Jardine, who was part of Canada’s team that won a bronze medal at the U16 FIBA Americas tournament in Mexico in 2011.
“It was awesome…very emotional,” she said of winning a medal.
“Winning the bronze medal felt like all that training had paid off. I was so proud to be a part of it,” said Jardine, the only player from the Atlantic provinces on the national squad.
“It was one of the best moments of my life when I stepped up on the podium.”
Hannah’s father Mike, her mom Carina, and her sister Caroline were at the games, as were the parents of many other Canadian team members.
Jardine said the presence of family made what was a great time that much better.
“I really enjoyed the whole thing. Playing the games and talking to players on different teams was so cool. It was an awesome experience.”
Jardine said the calibre of play in Amsterdam was very high and it was difficult, at times, to adjust to the style of opposing teams.
Playing against the top-seeded United States was a particular challenge and she noted that while the team from Japan didn’t have much height, the players were very quick.
“They can run all day.”
Jardine, who played the two-and three-guard position, came off the bench for Canada in the tournament.
A starter at home and a player used to big minutes, Jardine had no problems with how she was used in Holland.
In fact, it was Canada’s bench that helped the team pull out the victory against Japan.
“You just adapt to your role and everybody was so supportive. It was just a matter of doing whatever you had to do for the team,” she said.
“It’s obviously harder coming off the bench instead of starting right after the warm-up. It’s just something you have to get used to. You are just so lucky to be on the team in the first place, you just have to adjust to the situation and cheer on teammates who are on the floor.
“And when you get your time, just give everything you have.”
Jardine realizes her place on the national team and role in Canada’s medal-winning performance in Amsterdam can’t help but boost her profile, but she doesn’t know how it might translate in terms of interest from Canadian and/or American universities.
In fact, she said she isn’t close to pinpointing where she will be after graduation from high school in June.
“I’ve talked to some people,” she said, “but I’ve been so focused with (Team) Canada this summer, I haven’t really thought that much about it.
“I’ve just been too busy.”
Asked about the chances of her staying home and attending Memorial University, Jardine hesitated and then, with a bit of a nervous laugh, responded: “MUN is a great school and Doug (Sea-Hawks head coach Doug Partridge) is a very good coach, but I’m really not sure what I’m going to do yet.”