Kamloops baller Taiysa Worsfold playing last game Feb. 20
'I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be really emotional,' Worsfold says of Saturday's game
After 10 years of playing basketball in her hometown of Kamloops, Taiysa Worsfold is hanging up her shoes.
For now, anyway.
Worsfold, a highly scouted homegrown forward who plays for the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, is playing the last game of her collegiate career on Feb. 20 when the UBC Okanagan Heat come to town.
"It's been a really fast five years that just flew by since I got here," Worsfold told CBC Kamloops' Jennifer Chrumka. "I'm really glad to have my experience here. I've met a lot of amazing people every single year that I've been here, and I know now it's my time to pass on the torch and let these younger players take over."
- Kelly Olynyk, Celtics centre, boosts Canadian university basketball
- Let Josiah Wilson play All Native basketball, advocate demands
- U.S. college basketball tournament coming to Vancouver in 2017
First noticed in Grade 8
Worsfold played high school basketball at Sa-Hali Secondary in Kamloops, and even then, she had the attention of current Wolfpack coach Scott Reeves.
"I was cruising through the halls of Sa-Hali, trying to look for local talent, and there was this Grade 8 kid in the gym," he said. "She wasn't at the mall. She wasn't on the playground. She was in the gym. That's what you look for. People who want to get in and get better."
Worsfold says growing up, her family wasn't wealthy, and she had support from the community. That was a big part of why she decided to stay in Kamloops.
When she was invited to try out for the national women's team, she almost didn't go because she couldn't afford the plane trip.
However, some teachers convinced her to ask the community for help.
"I actually got so much money that I had way more than I needed, so I wound up going around and returning a whole bunch of it," she said.
"The impact that people like that have had on me made me really want to stay so they could watch me. Not only was this my journey, but also theirs."
Bouncing off to med school
Beyond the importance of another win on Saturday, Worsfold says the game will be a chance to thank the people who've helped her get where she is.
"I'm really excited. I think it's going to be really emotional, because I'm a big crier," she said with a laugh.
After her final game, Worsfold has medical school ambitions. She wants to become a paediatrician or an obstetrician.
And as you might guess, she would like to return to the game — this time as a coach for young children.
To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: After 10 years, Kamloops born-and-bred baller Taiysa Worsfold hanging 'em up
With files from Jennifer Chrumka