AMSTERDAM (2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women) – Emily Potter is almost afraid of pinching herself that she’s playing for Canada at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women. But the forward is having an amazing experience, especially after being one of the final cuts from Team Canada last summer.  Potter took her disappointment and worked on her game and made the team for Amsterdam. And she has played a big role as Canada hope to reach the Quarter-Finals. 


“We feel very confident with giving her the ball on the inside and that she’s going to make a good decision with it. Rebounding she’s really giving us a great effort. Her size along with her improved agility makes her tough to guard,” Canada coach Carly Clarke said of Potter, who is averaging 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 17 minutes.

Potter was somewhat of a surprise invitation to Canada’s camp in the build-up to the 2011 U16 FIBA Americas seeing that she comes from the province of Manitoba – not exactly known as a hotbed of hoops. The Winnipegger made it to the final 14 players but was not selected for the final team – which finished third to qualify for the FIBA U17 World Championship.

“It was definitely hard because I haven’t been cut from a lot of things. That was probably the first big thing. I knew I wanted it really bad,” recalled Potter. 

“I was more shy and nervous last year and not very sure of myself. I wasn’t as coachable. I think I worked on the mental aspect of the game and also being stronger and knowing what I can do and trusting in myself and what I can do and feeling confident.”

Clarke was also pleased that Potter came back in the first camp in 2012 a better player.

“Her response was excellent which was so exciting to see. She had taken the feedback that we had given her for creating some more toughness, physically and mentally; improving her fitness and her strength. We are thrilled with her progress over the past year,” she said. 

Potter for her part was thrilled when she heard she had made the U17 roster and would wear Canada on her chest.

“It was the best day of my life. It was so exciting. I was like, what do I do now? My dream has come true. This is all I’ve thought about for the past year,” said the 1.95m center.

And she described being in Amsterdam as an “amazing feeling”. 

“I don’t know if it will ever hit me that I’m actually here. I don’t know. When we first heard the national anthem of our first game that was pretty crazy. I don’t know if it’s hit me yet. Maybe it’s better if it doesn’t, then I don’t get too nervous.” 

Potter is a passionate user of Twitter – actually she admits it’s an obsession – and during her stay in Amsterdam, she tweeted: “I’m at a world championship.. Is this real life? #someonepinchme.”

But talking to the 16-year-old at the competition, another event came up – the Olympics. She’s fulfilled her dream of playing for Canada – now it’s time for another dimension.

“Now I have to dream bigger and dreaming for the Olympics is my next hope.”

Potter has already experienced – and improved upon afterwards – being cut from a team. So, she will be ready for the process to the next time she feels the need to pinch herself.


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