Hurley answers the call for Team Ontario
Sarah Hurley unexpectedly found herself a member of the Team Ontario women’s basketball team for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
“I actually didn’t try out but they lost a couple girls last minute and they needed a few extra players, so they asked if I could play with them,” the 16-year-old Fonthill resident said.
She received a phone call from the team on July 30 inquiring if she would be interested in competing at the Games.
“I was super excited,” the six-foot shooting guard said.
Hurley spent four days last week with the squad training at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School.
“I thought I fit in pretty well,” she said, adding she is not sure where and when she will be used. “I play as shooting guard and we have a couple twos and threes on the team. We have a bunch.”
Hurley can’t wait for the Games to begin. Ontario opens play Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Niagara College against Prince Edward Island.
“I just know it’s going to be a super great opportunity and experience and I’m also looking forward to playing with the older girls and learning from them,” she said. “I know a lot of girls from other teams — like my cousin, Maya Flindall, she plays on Team Alberta – so I’ll get to play against her, and meet people from across the country.”
Hurley’s Games experience started with taking in the Opening Ceremony Saturday night at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.
“That was just a super cool experience. It was amazing seeing all the provinces, how many fans came out, and how excited everyone is to be representing their province.”
She will be spending the week with her teammates at the Athletes’ Village at Brock University.
“It’s really cool because everywhere you go, you see people from all the provinces, and we’re getting to meet everyone and it’s fun staying as a team. We have our own rooms but we’re always together and go to meals and stuff together. It’s great team bonding, so yeah, super fun.”
Hurley finished Grade 10 at E.L. Crossley this spring and she is going to play Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association ball this fall at Lincoln Prep.
“My high school season this year, I was at a public school and because of all the COVID stuff, we didn’t really get a great season,” she said. “I just really wanted a higher level of basketball so I decided it would be best for me to go play for OSBA.”
During the pandemic, OSBA teams were allowed to continue practising but university, college and high schools teams were prohibited from playing or practising.
Prep school ball is the next step in what Hurley hopes will be a path to NCAA Division 1 ball. This June, she made her first unofficial visit to the University of Buffalo and she has a visits planned to Eastern Michigan and Vermont in the fall.
“I’m super excited and glad that I get the opportunity to go and visit these schools. It’s cool because they’re my first couple of visits and it’s kind of amazing just seeing that that’s gonna be me in two years playing for a school like that.”
Hurley also played for the Niagara Juel team this past spring and with Kia Nurse Elite EYBL 2024 squad in the summer. She trained with that team in May and June and played games in July. All of her efforts are producing results.
“I’ve definitely been training really hard and getting excited to playing for OSBA next year, so I’ve been working really hard with my shot and my defence so I’m ready for next year.”
She knows there is still work to do.
“I think I just need to keep working on all the little things, my shot and defence like I said.”
Her play at the Canada Games will be a benefit.
“This will definitely be a great experience learning from the older girls and then being to apply that next year.”