July 17, 2013
Panavė?ys, Lithuania – It’s almost time for the competition to start for incoming Northwestern freshman Nia Coffey and USA Basketball as the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships begin Thursday, July 18.
Nia and her teammates begin the tournament at 6 p.m. local time/10 a.m. CT and fans can follow via live stats here.
Today, Nia blogs about her teammates and some differences in international play.
Hello again from Lithuania! We are getting settled in and are all really excited to play our first game Thursday. Our pool includes Lithuania, China and Mali and we will play all three teams each of the next three days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).
One of the best parts of this experience has been getting to know my teammates. I knew Linnae Harper and Kelsey Plum from the McDonald’s All-America Game and WBCA All-America Game. I knew Mo (Moriah) Jefferson, Morgan Tuck and Breanna Stewart (who were all a part of Connecticut’s 2013 NCAA Championship team) from watching them on TV, but I had not met them before we started training camp. It’s been great getting to know everyone, especially those three, because they are just such good teammates and leaders and I am learning a ton from them. I’m really excited to bring a lot of things that I’ve learned from them back to Northwestern, which will help me get ready for college. All of my teammates are very nice, friendly, funny and very helpful--I have a lot of respect for them.
One of the funniest moments we’ve had so far on our trip included Breanna Stewart and Bashaara Graves, who plays at Tennessee. When we were in the Canary Islands, there were a lot of stray cats all around the resort. Well one night, Breanna and Bashaara left their door open and I guess they found a cat in their room when they woke up! I’m glad that didn’t happen to me. I made sure my door was shut.
We’ve played against a few countries in exhibition games and a scrimmage so far but we’re all very excited to get the tournament started on Thursday. My teammates that were on the squad last year have helped me adjust to the international game. They said the game is more mental and physical overseas and you have to really be on top of your game and make smart plays.
Hoping we can pick up a few wins this week and it all starts Thursday vs. Lithuania! Thanks for following!
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