FALL RIVER: It was a phone call Ashleigh Marshall is happy she answered.
Marshall was in class last month at Lockview High School in Fall River when her cellphone vibrated. She looked and saw it was a friend of hers calling, so she politely stepped out of the classroom and took the call.
“My friend who I’ve played with the past three years called me to tell me as she saw the list,” said a still glowing and smiling ear-to-ear Marshall. “It was a very exciting phone call.
“I saw her call me so I said to myself ‘the list must be up’ so I left the classroom to take the call and that was it. She told me I had made the team. I was very excited.”
The Fall River product said the selection to the Basketball Nova Scotia team for the upcoming 2017 Canada Games means a lot to her.
“I’ve been working so hard and if I hadn’t of made the team it would have felt like all the hard work was wasted,” she said. “Just to go represent my province is just insane.”
Marshall first took to the basketball court with the Rebels basketball organization some nine years ago when she was just seven or eight, following in her mom’s footsteps. For the past four years she’s been working towards the goal of making herself a part of the 2017 Canada Games team. And with that phone call from her friend, that goal was achieved.
“It’s unreal,” said Marshall, 16. “The hard work is paying off. “
She said all of her friends are really proud of her accomplishment. But it didn’t come without its sacrifices, however.
“I have missed a lot of things that I couldn’t attend because of basketball,” said Marshall.
Marshall did have a seed of doubt whether she would be able to leave the coaches with enough of an impression that would give her a slam dunk chance of making the team. Because of work-to-rule, this year’s high school basketball season was cut short limiting the amount of games the team’s coaching staff had to see the players they were scouting in game action.
“Without the high school season, the coaches weren’t able to see us play,” she said. “She was going to go to a lot of our games. I thought by not playing I wouldn’t get to make it.”
She said to be able to represent the Rebels and Lockview High organizations as well as the community of Fall River on a national stage is a great opportunity.
“I hope I can make them proud and do a good representation for them because they both have done so much to get me here,” said Marshall. “It’s so unreal to have my name associated with the Canada Games team.
“Basketball is the most important thing to me right now.”
The 2017 Canada Games will take place July 28 to Aug. 13 in Winnipeg, MB.