This Sunday will see a Scotland Women’s Select team take on University of North Carolina Tar Heels in an exhibition match, at The Peak in Stirling. The fixture promises to be a treat for basketball fans, as the Tar Heels arrive on Scottish soil boasting one of the most decorated histories in college basketball – led by Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell (689-260).
Ahead of the clash, we first caught up with Scotland’s Head Coach Bart Sengers to get his thoughts on the squad’s preparation during training camp: “Some of the girls have played together and know each other: we’ve got the girls who play together at Loughborough and many have played with and against each other in National League. Most have been part of the National Team at one stage or another. However, we know it is going to be difficult: we’ve got 2 days, training 5 hours each day, to prepare. It’s going to be difficult to execute, but that’s not what we’re worried about. It’s going to be fun to play North Carolina.”
Scottish international Rona Corkindale sees the game as a chance to put women’s basketball on the map: “It’s a great opportunity, the chance to play against some top opposition is excellent for the women’s game – we can get out there and do our thing. Although it’s just another game, it will be an amazing experience and hopefully give young girls something to aspire to.
“It’s going to be tough but at the end of the day you can stay a big fish in a small pond or test yourself at the next level.”
Similarly, guard Robyn Lewis was keen to measure herself against the visiting Tar Heels: “I’ve never played against that calibre of college and I’m keen to see how we can use their approach to improve our own game.
“We can only control what we can control and work within the timeframe we have but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
Finally we spoke to Yhana Van Wees (pictured) who noted the importance of inspiring the next generation of women: “It’s a great opportunity for the younger players to see what sort of progression they’ll need to make, if they’re to play at the highest level.
“I’m going to stay vocal and keep the team motivated, even if we get tired. Being Scottish we’re on all the same level, even if we’re not all used to playing together. Everyone is looking forward to the challenge.”
The full rosters for both sides can be seen below (the final 12 will be selected on the day):
Yhana Van Wees
Head Coach: Bart Sengers
Team Manager: Ailidh Hood
University of North Carolina Tar Heels
Taylor Koenen 62 G Fr. Savage, Minn. (Shakopee)
Ali CyrScully 55 G Fr. Chapel Hill, N.C. (East Chapel Hill)
Jocelyn Jones 60 G Fr. Richmond, Texas (Cosby)
Stephanie Watts 511 G So. Wesley Chapel, N.C. (Weddington)
Jamie Cherry 58 G Jr. Cove City, N.C. (West Craven)
Emily Sullivan 64 F Fr. Newburgh, Ind. (Reitz Memorial)
Hillary Fuller 62 F RSr. Fernandina Beach, Fla. (The Potter’s House)
Olivia Smith 60 G Fr. Raleigh, N.C. (Cardinal Gibbons)
Alyssa Okoene 63 F Fr. Houston, Texas (North Shore)
Paris Kea 59 G RSo. Tarboro, N.C. (Page/Vanderbilt)
Destinee Walker 510 G So. Orlando, Fla. (Lake Highland Prep)
Naomi Van Nes 66 C Fr. Hamden, Conn. (Hamden Country Day)
Head Coach: Sylvia Hatchell
Associate Head Coach: Andrew Calder
Assistant Coaches: Tracey WilliamsJohnson, Sylvia Crawley