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

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read