June 18, 2024

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A Fort McMurray athlete is a gold medal winner after Group Alberta’s 16U feminine basketball workforce took the highest spot on the 2023 North American Indigenous Video games (NAIG) in Halifax final month.

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Kayla Giroux, 15, stated she was stunned at how nicely Group Alberta did towards the opposite groups. She stated successful gold was an incredible expertise, however is gloomy the video games are over.

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“It was a really glad second and the entire thing was an excellent expertise,” stated Giroux in an interview. “It wasn’t simply the basketball, both. Touring the town and cheering for different groups, it was all enjoyable. They’re my buddies now.”

Group Alberta went undefeated at NAIG. They began sturdy with a 74-24 victory over Group Ontario in preliminaries. Their second pool match was a 94-12 victory over Jap Door and the North. They beat Group Manitoba 58-51 in quarterfinals and defeated Group Minnesota 73-36 in semifinals. Group Alberta received towards Group Wisconsin 54-42 within the gold medal recreation. Group British Columbia took residence bronze.

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Giroux averaged 5.0 factors per recreation and her tournament-high rating was 12 factors towards Easter Door and the North. Giroux stated she was impressed with the efficiency from Group Manitoba, however discovered the opposite victories too straightforward.

The members of Group Alberta are unfold out throughout the province. Giroux stated the workforce practiced and skilled collectively, and had an intense coaching week in Calgary earlier than the video games. Additionally they bonded rapidly socially and as a workforce.

Giroux goes into Grade 11 at Holy Trinity Excessive Faculty. She has performed basketball since she was 10 and is a member of the Northern Trailblazers Basketball. She goals of taking part in basketball at a post-secondary degree. In school, she has competed in observe and discipline occasions similar to shot put, talk about and 400-metre occasions. However basketball is a ardour.

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“It’s like an escape and it’s actually enjoyable,” she stated. “Say I’m bored or upset, I’ll simply go play basketball with my buddies. It’s calming.”

About 5,000 athletes from greater than 750 Indigenous nations who competed in 16 sports activities at NAIG earlier this month. Group Alberta completed fourth on the medal desk with 26 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 28 bronze medals. That is the most important competitors Giroux has attended and her first worldwide athletic event.

Tayden Shott of the Fort McKay First Nation additionally received gold at NAIG. He competed within the 16U Male compound class for 3D Archery, defeating 21 different athletes from throughout Canada, New Mexico and Colorado.

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