Before flying to Brazil to prepare for the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics with Canada's Women's Basketball team, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe shared what it means to represent her country on the national stage, while also looking ahead to her upcoming season playing professionally in Australia.
What does it mean for you to play for the national team, especially now that the Olympics are finally here?
In my opinion, the greatest honour for any athlete is the opportunity to represent their country. It is such an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to play for team Canada at the Olympics. Every time I put on the Canadian jersey it is a special feeling and I think this will be even stronger in Brazil.
How has playing for the national team helped you improve your overall game?
Playing with the national team is very beneficial to my own game. Everyday in practice we are pushed out of our comfort zones and expected to perform and compete at a very high level.
Did you work on something specific during your off season and if yes how does it reflect in your time with the national team?
During the last 8 months while I was in Germany I focused a lot on improving my physical strength and conditioning. The international game is extremely physical and if you aren't in top condition it is difficult to compete.
How do you think spending the summer with the national will help you regarding your new challenge with the Bendigo Spirits in Australia?
With the national team I am receiving top class coaching and playing against very strong competition in both practice and games. I think this will be very beneficial in terms of my preparation for the upcoming season in Bendigo. The Australian league is quite strong but I think after this summer with the national team I will be ready to make the transition to the WNBL.
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