Vikes forward Kristy Gallagher stands at the UVic Sports Walk of Excellence. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Parkland grad leads by example on the court

When Kristy Gallagher was a freshman player on the UVic Vikes basketball team, she was spending too much time on the bench.

She was a standout on the Parkland Secondary high school team, but Gallagher said she had a tough transition into university-level basketball.

“Going from head of the pack to having to earn everything, every day, right away is really difficult,” said Gallagher.

To improve her game, she trained every day in May and June, sometimes twice a day, and she ended up starting in her second year. Now in her fourth year, she has become a leader on the team, earned a place on the Vikes Honour Roll (which requires an 80 per cent average), and was chosen as a U-SPORT Academic All-Canadian.

She said that experience makes her a better mentor other first-year players struggling in the same way.

“I understand where they’re coming from and I’ve gotten to the other side.” said Gallagher.

As one of three fourth-years on the team, Gallagher is a senior member, and she said it’s hard to fill the shoes of last year’s leaders. But, it helps that Gallagher’s roommate is Nicole Karstein, one of those leaders who Gallagher said led by example when she was a younger player. She now tries to do the same for others.

Gallagher is optimistic about this season, even though the loss of three senior members was tough. The Vikes lost two games to Trinity Western that she felt were winnable, “but that was earlier in the season” and they ended the first half of the season with two big wins over Alberta, where the Vikes held them to under their average “which is unheard of” because Gallagher said “we’re the team that scores a lot but we also let teams score 15 more than they average.”

The Vikes have been working hard to improve their defence, getting stops and keeping possession, so “it was a good way to end the first half of the season.”

“I feel like the cohesion on the team has gone really well and I’m happy to be a part of that process,” she said.

Gallagher, a Recreation and Health Education student, is still figuring out what she wants to do after her university career. She likes the idea of playing basketball while completing a master’s degree in Europe, and could see herself as the athletic director of a university someday.

She is still in touch with her Parkland coach, Larry Green, and she said they talk on the phone at least once a week about “everything,” not just basketball.

“He’s a big part of my life still. He inspired by motivation for basketball and got everything going there. And continuously pushed me. It’s a big part of where I am today.”

Gallagher said she tries to be a presence for the current group of Parkland girls, helping out at practices where she can, even though she doesn’t get out to Sidney as much as she’d like. Her family are “huge supporters,” streaming every away game and cheering her on at home, but “they’re obviously biased,” whereas she will sometimes get a text from Green saying “you’ve got to move your feet!”

Just Posted

Goat yoga resumes on North Saanich farm

More goats, more classes, more cuteness

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

North Saanich roundabouts get new landscaping

McTavish Interchange landscaping cheaper, still safe

Endangered plant thrives after Sidney Spit restoration

Coastal sand ecosystem returning to health after 1.5 years of work

North Saanich added to list of places that want tax exemption

District seeks meeting with Province about alternatives

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

CONTEST: Readers Choice Awards 2o18

Enter to win one of three $100 grocery gift cards, in this Saanich Peninsula contest

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

Most Read