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Brampton Olympian Tamara Tatham says it's never too late to start playing basketball

The two-time gold medallist shares how a late start to basketball could never get in the way of her Olympic dreams.

Brampton native shares how a late start to basketball can't keep her from reaching the top

Olympian Tamara Tatham is ready to compete for Team Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They placed eighth in their last Olympic appearance in London in 2012. (Jessica Hill/The Canadian Press)

Team Canada's Tamara Tatham didn't start shooting hoops until she was a teenager, but she's been a force on the court ever since.

With two gold medals under her belt and Rio right around the corner, she's ready to win another.

"Growing up I never thought I would be where I am today... playing for my country," says the 31-year-old Brampton native.

Her aggressive style of play and passion for the game are qualities that have Tatham on fans radars, but basketball was a love that came to her a little later than most.

"My first memory of basketball was when I was 13," she said. "My brother was playing, so my parents kind of asked me what I wanted to do and I decided to choose basketball."

She soon joined a team in Scarborough, where she was living at the time. She said her stature (she's five feet and 11 inches tall) and competitiveness made breaking into the sport easy.

"Being soft spoken is not something that translates onto the court," she said. "You've always got to have a game face when you step on that floor and go out there to win games."

She went on to join Canada's senior national Basketball team in 2007, competing in her first Pan Am games in Rio. She said that ever since then her career has continued to climb.

"You can literally start at the age of 13 and still be a great basketball player or you could start at the age of four, it doesn't really matter when you start, it's really just how much heart you're going to put into the game."

Tatham was a member of the Canadian Women's Basketball team that won gold at the 2015 Pan Am and FIBA American Basketball Championships. The team also placed eighth at the London Olympics in 2012 and will look to bring home gold when they compete at the Rio Olympics, which kicks off on Aug. 5.

"I'm very proud about the way we performed last summer and the fact that we were able to win two gold medals and also inspire young women and young girls across this country," she said.

"Now we'll be going off to Rio and we know what it takes, we know just how much it feels to have those kind of medals in our hands."

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