Elmira’s Katie Harnock is going for gold at the Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships.The tournament is taking place from June 20-28 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, and having home court has been a major advantage, Harnock said.
“Having it on home soil, especially so close to where I am from has added a new, exciting dimension to an already fantastic event. “
Harnock won gold with Canada at the 2006 World Championships in Amsterdam and bronze last time around in 2010 in Birmingham, England. This time she gets to share the experience with her family.
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“Most of our events are in Europe or all over the world. We don’t get the opportunity a lot of the time to have our families and friends see us play. My brothers and sisters probably hadn’t seen me play in maybe 10 years, and they were able to come out to see me play.”
Rotating between the point and shooting guard positions, Harnock uses her dribbling, passing and exceptional shooting ability to facilitate offense.
“I’ve always been a pretty good shooter,” she said. “This tournament I am shooting well… I am trying to stay calm and composed on the ball and that has been going well for me.”
In the preliminary round, Canada beat Japan, Brazil and China before losing to a strong German squad. In the last match before the playoffs, Harnock shot a stellar 7-9 from the field for 14 points along with three rebounds and three assists.
“I think we are hitting our stride at the right time,” she said, following the game. “We have been together as a unit. We have a motto about ‘staying family,’ and we have been really focusing on that and it is certainly showing in the way that we are playing. We’re playing the best basketball since I made the team.”
If Canada continues to roll, they will play for the gold medal at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.