Photos courtesy VIU Mariners.
The VIU Mariners’ women’s basketball team has had a phenomenal season. The team currently has a perfect 21-0 record and has clinched first place in the PacWest standings. The team has been led on the court by a large senior contingent. Three of those senior players, Shayna Worthington, Jenna Carver, and Heather McCarthy sat down for an interview with The Navigator to talk about their connection to the game and how it feels to be leaders on the court this year.
Navigator: How many years have you been VIU students?
Heather McCarthy: This is my fifth year at VIU.
Jenna Carver: This is my fourth year.
Shayna Worthington: This is my fifth year as a student.
N: Two of you are from Nanaimo. What’s it like to get to play in your hometown?
JC: It’s really cool because all of our friends and family are here. It was really nice to not have to make that initial adjustment when you get to a new school of having to get used to the area.
N: Shayna, what was the adjustment like coming from Victoria to VIU?
SW: Coming from Victoria wasn’t too bad. It’s not too far away, so it’s nice. Plus, my mom comes up for all my home games. So it definitely was an adjustment, but it wasn’t too bad.
N: Does being seniors on the team come with an increased leadership role, and how have you adjusted to that role?
JC: I know for Heather and I, our roles have increased over time. Heather’s role on the team has changed from first year to this year so dramatically that it’s really a learning process throughout our whole time here. You go from bench players in your first year to starting. It’s always a learning experience.
HM: As a rookie, you’re just learning how the team works together. Then, as you build more confidence on the team, you just become a leader over the years. It’s not like that’s your goal, but being a leader certainly comes with the territory of having more experience.
N: How old were you when you first played basketball?
JC: Grade six or seven, whenever was the earliest time in school that you could sign up for the team.
SW: I started in grade eight, when I started to get really tall and everyone else was short.
N: When did you start to really enjoy basketball?
HM: For me, it was when it became really competitive, around grade ten.
JC: I was honestly a little torn between volleyball and basketball. Then I started to really like basketball when it became a challenge. I wanted to get better at it and I dedicated myself.
N: What are your plans for after graduation?
HM: I’m hoping to travel a bit, and I’ve applied to the education program here at VIU. That’s something I want to do as well.
JC: Luckily, I still have another year to decide what I’m going to do.
N: Any plans with basketball after graduation?
SW: I might go back and play in a rec league somewhere, but I haven’t had a break from basketball since grade eight, so I’m certainly going to take a little break after this year and see how I feel.
JC: Maybe coaching my child or something in the future, but as far as playing myself goes, I think this will be my last year.