During the half time of her older brother’s games, four-year-old Kelly Vass picked up the basketball and tried to throw it through the net. When her dad said it might be the time to start playing, she practised in her friend’s yard. She’s never stopped playing since then.
Vass has been the point guard of St. Thomas University’s Women’s Basketball team for two years.
The 20-year-old wanted to continue playing basketball when she came to STU. She talked to the coach and became Tommie number seven of the team. During her first game, Vass says, she was very nervous to make a mistake. Her teammates helped her to get through it – and together they won the game.
“The girls on my team are by far my best friends. We spend so much time together. They’re like your sisters,” the English major said.
Vass practises with the team three times a week and lifts weights on two days. During basketball season, she has games every weekend and is “usually always on the road.
“You have to make sure you’re on top of your school work, so you don’t fall behind. When you fall behind, you just feel like you’re swarmed, you can’t do anything. … It’s busy, really busy. But good.”
She likes the atmosphere and the people she meets while playing basketball. It’s also a game that never gets boring for her. Vass was named an NBIAA all star when she played for the Trimble Trojans of Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton, N.B. She says playing with the other all stars was a lot of fun.
“It’s good. It feels like your hard work pays off finally, like people are seeing and I mean it’s not that you play for other people but it was just good, feeling for me, now other people see that.”
After four or five years, she will see whether she’ll stop and move on with life playing pick-up basketball. For now she wants to continue playing with the Tommies. The coaching staff, she says, is “unreal.” According to her, the coach treats the girls like “his own daughters.”
“So, it’s not strictly basketball, it’s life. He cares about you, so I couldn’t see myself going to another school now.”