FRIDAY, JUNE 29: Jenaya Wade-Fray will be the first Bermudian to play basketball at the Olympics. The talented young guard will kit up for Great Britain in the 2012 London Games and while she considers “a great honour” it also surpasses her dreams.
The likelihood of Bermuda ever qualifying a basketball team for the Olympics is extremely remote so being able to play for Great Britain helps her achieve what otherwise would have been improbable.
Wade-Fray said: “I never thought I’d be playing in the Olympics. I’m very excited about it and I can’t wait for the Games to start.”
She started playing for Great Britain in 2010 in the European Championships.
“When I was playing for Great Britain in the FIBA World Championships and they were talking about the Olympics being in London and ever since then I was working towards getting invited to the camp and making the team.”
Wade-Fray said she knew this would mean she would not be able to play for Bermuda in a FIBA sanctioned tournament again, “but I figured this was a great opportunity that doesn’t come around often so I jumped at it.”
The guard has been able to test herself against some of the world’s best players on a regular basis and that has helped her pick up her game.
“I’ve learned a lot playing overseas and in different environments. I’ve played against people who have different kinds of game so I’ve been able to take it in and learn from it.”
As part of pre-Olympic warm-ups, Great Britain will tip-off against the Americans, one of the favourites for the gold medal in London.
Wade-Fray said she grew up watching many of the US players take to the court and has a lot of admiration for them.
“I am very excited about that because I watched them play in high school and college.
“While I was in college I saw Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore and it was amazing seeing them to play so it’s going to be crazy playing them now.”
Normally the host country would get to enter a team regardless of how good they are, but Great Britain has been playing well. “We definitely surprised people by how well we did at the World Games the year before.”
Great Britain is 49th in the Women’s FIBA rankings with the US, Australia and Russia as the top three nations in the world.
Wade-Fray said even though she won’t officially be in a Bermuda uniform at the Olympics, she has received much support from people here.
“It’s been great the amount of support that I’ve gotten from people here and I really appreciate it.”
She added even though she is first Bermudian to play basketball at Olympics she won’t be the last one and “and hopefully it will inspire some young girls to follow in my footsteps and want to play basketball.”