Hoopster has large support group at Games
© Photo by Kenn Oliver/The Telegram
Michelle Carroll (left) and her daughter Maria are both part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s contingent at the Summer Games. Michelle was a member of the Week 1 mission staff, while Maria is point guard on the female basketball team.
By Kenn Oliver
The Telegram—Sherbrooke, Que.
At this week’s Canada Summer Games, some Team Newfoundland and Labrador athletes have a parent or two, and maybe a sibling, who have made the trip to watch them compete.
Basketball player Maria Carroll, however, has enough support in Sherbrooke to fill an entire row of seats at the John H. Price Sports Centre at Bishop’s University.
“My whole family is up here, and my aunt and uncle and my grandmother. It’s a lot of support,” says the 16-year-old point guard from St. John’s.
“This is my fourth year going to national tournaments, and my last year, so they decided to come up.”
Part of her own personal cheering section, along with her father Eric and sister Heather, is her mother Michelle.
“She’s been to almost every single basketball game I’ve played since I started in Grade 1. Without her here it would be a little strange, so it’s nice to look up and see that I have the support.”
Thing is, Michelle was already here, having served as part of Team NL’s mission staff in the first week.
While Maria didn’t find out she had made the Doug Partridge’s squad until December of last year, Michelle has known since last May that she would be in Sherbrooke.
“I think I was more excited than she was because I knew what it entailed,” says Michelle, who was part of the province’s basketball team at the 1975 Lethbridge Games and again at the 1977 Games in St. John’s, winning a bronze medal with the field hockey team.
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“I wanted to be part of the Games again, because the whole atmosphere is unbelievable.”
Michelle says it took some time to convince Maria that the Games weren’t just another national tournament, that the event was something special.
“I told her to enjoy it and take in everything that’s around you. It’s there for you, go out and enjoy it and love it.”
So, was Mom right?
“Walking around, there’s so many people, it’s so different than any other tournament I’ve been to,” says Maria. “And seeing the other Newfoundland athletes, not even knowing who they are, but we share the common bond of Newfoundland pride.”
Pride is just what the girls’ basketball team will be playing for following a pair of losses on Tuesday. In their opening match, the girls took a 33-29 lead into the fourth quarter against New Brunswick, but a bevy of turnovers and missed opportunities proved costly as they went on to lose 41-38. Carroll had nine points, with Janet Lee leading the team with 10 points and seven rebounds.
In their evening game against Ontario, they fell 56-27. Rosie Stanoev led Team NL with nine points.