As members of the only Canadian club taking part, three local basketball players had the chance to learn from some experienced American players last week.
Emma Newhook, Ally Pilgram, and Makenzie Marple travelled with the Edmonton Swoosh to Chicago to compete in the Nike Spring Showdown.
They were the only club from Canada, and they made it to the consolation final.
Pilgrim, a Grade 10 Peace Wapiti Academy student, says it was a good challenge playing more experienced teams from the U.S.
“We played our hardest and it was a lot of fun. We definitely competed with the teams, even though they’ve probably been playing since they were five. The States, they’re so into it and they never give up, no matter what.”
For grade 12 Peace Wapiti Academy student Newhook, it was a major learning experience.
“It was my first time playing in the States. I learned to set a whole new pace for basketball, like the pace of game. For example, how fast they are the entire game; they push themselves as hard as they can. They leave their hearts on the court.”
Newhook, a grade 11 student at Beaverlodge Regional High, says it will help her prepare for future major tournaments.
“I was very nervous for Chicago, but now I’ll know what to expect. That will help me work harder in California and now in practices I know where to push.”
The elite team is next headed to Los Angeles and Las Vegas in July.
The Peace Wapiti students will continue to play in their U-17 Girls club.