BASKETBALL WITH ABBY BISHOP
Join VixenSports as we follow the talented Abby Bishop from the University of Canberra Capitals!! Abby will share her experiences with us, right here!!ABOUT ABBY BISHOP
Well hello everyone, its been a little while since you have all heard from me, but here i am.
A lot has been happening lately, good and bad, but hey thats life and they do say you have to take the bad with the good.
I got announced back into the Opals squad a few moths ago. Something that was very exciting for me as i hadn’t worn the green and gold for a while, and to be honest ,the last time i did wear the green and gold it wasn’t such an enjoyable experience. So it was exciting times, a new coach, some new faces in the squad and just a whole new fresh environment, which everyone had openly said they were excited about especially after the disappointing result in Rio.
The first thing was a camp in Phoenix, which was great. Sandy has put together an exceptional coaching staff, and they all bring different things, but it was such an enjoyable experience with a lot of learning and positivity. I went into camp with two sore ankles though. One that i had injured in France 7 months ago and it still hasn’t healed and then one which i had just rolled right before i came into camp.
The physio and coaches managed me appropriately which was great, and i got through most of the camp, not all sessions but most. At the end of the camp, the coaching staff announced a 12 player team to head to India 10 days later, to compete in the Asia Cup. I was lucky enough to be named in this team, and was really looking forward to the fresh start with the opals.
The physio had organized an appointment with a doctor at the AIS on my return, so i went to this appointment thinking maybe ill get a cortisone injection and he’ll send me on my way, but instead he sent me off for an MRI.
I went back later that afternoon to review the results with the doctor, and that is when i received the bad news. I cant quite tell you what is wrong with my ankle because the list was long but he sent me off to see a surgeon. I saw the surgeon, he was lovey and he got me in for surgery 5 days later, which is tomorrow here in Canberra.
It was such an emotional day for me. I think the biggest thing was i really didn’t think my ankle was that bad, and i honestly thought i would be fine. I had been running around getting a new passport, and my visa sorted for the upcoming trip to India and the to get this kind of news, it just really blindsided me.
Yes i was in pain, and i did struggle some days throughout the 10 day camp, but as athletes a lot of us are always in some kind of pain and it does become normal. I had so many thoughts running through my head……
I came to terms with it all pretty quick. From the medical advice i was given, it would have been silly of me to go against what they thought was best for me, and at the end of the day they have the athletes best interest in place, so surgery as soon as possible was the best thing for me, for my ankle and for my career.
So i have surgery tomorrow on my ankle and then the road to recovery and lots of rehab is what life is looking like for me for a while, oh and somewhere in the middle of that, i will be moving to Adelaide. I have signed to play with Adelaide Lightning for the upcoming WNBL season. Something i am really looking forward to because SA is home for me. I have grandparents that live just out of Adelaide on a farm, i have friends from the country where i grew up and i also have friends in Adelaide where i went to school. So for Zala and i, this was a great situation for us both, to head back to where it all began and to give back to SA basketball whilst enjoying reconnecting with friends and also spending more time with family.
I dont really have any other news for you. I think this is enough for now. But i am wishing the Opals girls all the best over in India. I will be watching closely from the couch and cheering the girls on.
I shall be back soon to update you all on everything.
A & Z
Bonjour from France.
So it’s been a while since I have written something for VixenSports, but here I am. I’m going to give you a quick little update, and let you know what’s been going on in our lives.
So we finished the WNBA season, in Seattle, with a single elimination game with the new play off format. We played Atlanta, in Atlanta, and sadly lost that game so that was it for us. It was great to get back to the playoffs though. Seattle hadn’t been in the playoffs for a few years, so i think the club are heading in the right direction, especially with the young guns they have – Jewell Lyod and Breanna Stewart.
We had a great time over there, once again. We really love the organization, the team and the people in Seattle. They always made sure Zala and I felt comfortable there, and the fans went above and beyond to make sure of that also. We are really grateful for that, and have made some life long friends from our time there.
After the season ended there, we headed back to Canberra for a couple of weeks. I had signed with a French team, Tarbes, before the end of the wnba, so we knew our next move but it was really nice to get home and catch up with friends and family before we headed off again on our next adventure. We ended up staying longer than expected as our visas took time. I went out and watched a Caps game down in Tuggeranong, which was great. The girls lost that game to Dandenong but it was a close game, the Caps were playing good basketball and I loved that there were so many people out there supporting the team. I also happened to be in Sydney for my visa appointment when Perth were playing so i went out to that game too, and was really impressed with the talent, from the aussies and also the imports.
We have been in France now for a couple of weeks. We have played 3 games, 2 French league games and 1 French cup game. We won the French cup game which was my first game, 3 days after arriving, but it worked out perfect that this was my first game, as I hadn’t really done too much before I arrived.
One of the reasons I decided to sign with this team was it’s the same coach I had the last time I played in France 4 years ago. Someone I was familiar with, and also someone who has kids himself so understands that Zala is my first priority!! It’s great to be back with this coach, we built a great player/coach relationship ad 4 years later, it’s still the same, which I am really happy about!
I for sure haven’t missed the long bus trips in France. We take mini busses for the shorter trips and for the longer trips we take a big bus with the beds in them so we can sleep. Last night was the first long road trip since I have been here, and it wasn’t even the longest. It was 7 hours, so after the game last night which we lost by 11 points, we got back on the bus and headed home, arriving back in Tarbes at 7am. Safe to say my Sunday has been full of bribes to a 3 year old, to get her to chill and let mumma rest……tired is an understatement. Next game we play Montpellier, which is the team Rachel Jarry plays for. Its going to be great to see her, so I am looking forward to that.
Zala has been great so far. I don’t have a nanny like I have everywhere else I have played so it’s a little bit difficult, but I am coping well so far. She starts school tomorrow so that’s going to free me up a little for a nap here and there, and even just 5 minutes to myself.
She’s been on both the two road trips with us and was very well behaved, so that made my life easier too. She knows no different, she’s been doing it since she was a baby i suppose, but as she is getting older, it is a little harder! There are also two other kids on the team, a girl who is 4.5 years old and a little boy who is 1. So its a very family friendly environment, which really makes me happy!
The weather here has been amazing! So many days about 25 degrees, but it’s just taken its cold turn now, so the heaters are cranked and our big jackets are out. It doesn’t actually snow in this city, everyone tells me, but it snows on the mountains which are very close by!
Hope you have all enjoyed the little update.
A & Z
Well after 2 years, it was amazing being back a part of the Opals program. To be able to go to Rio, for a pre Olympic test event was something special. We arrived in Brazil, after a pretty brutal trip. We flew Canberra – Sydney (1 hour) Sydney – Dubai (14 hours) Dubai – Rio (14 hours) but it wasn’t so so bad. We stayed in a brand new hotel, right in amongst all the Olympic stuff. The village, and most of the stadiums could be seen from the top of our hotel.
We had a couple of training days and a scrimmage v Brazil before we took to the court for our 3 game tournament, played at the arena where the women’s basketball will play all finals games.
The scores of the 3 games were –
87-37 v Argentina
104-24 v Veneuzala
77-67 v Brazil
We also got the chance to go up and see “Christ the Redeemer” statue, which was amazing.
For me, adjusting back to that level of play was always going to be a big factor. Regardless of the scores and opposition, the pace and the way the opals play in general is many steps up from the WNBL.
I felt like I adjusted well but I know I have a lot to work on and a lot to learn so I am now back in Canberra to finish off the WNBL season and also start working on the things that I know I need to, after being back in the national squad.
It was also really nice to be back playing with some of my old team mates, Suzy and Cayla in particular, but it was also great getting to know some girls who I just play against in the WNBL. Overall, it was a great experience for me and I am grateful I got to experience Rio, and see everything we did.
I’m back with Zala now after a while without her. She has grown so much, her hair is longer, she’s talking more and is just acting like she’s a year older. It’s really amazing how much they change and how quickly they grow.
I’ll leave you all with this – It’s always a privilege and honour to wear the green and gold, and something I don’t take for granted. Forever grateful for everything basketball has done for me.
I hope you’re all well and not freezing too much back there in AUS. I have been keeping an eye on the weather and have seen it’s absolutely freezing so I am kind of glad I am not there for that.
So, life has been busy over this side of the world.
Zals and I packed our lives up super quick when we got a phone call from the Seattle Storm letting us know there was an opportunity to do an interview with Good Morning America. But the catch was we had to leave in less than 24 hours. So we decided it was something we couldn’t say no to, so we jumped on a plane and off we went, a week earlier than expected and with little notice but we made it happen.
I’m really enjoying this season so far. The Seattle Storm are in a rebuild phase. So it’s a totally different feel from the last time I was on the team in 2010 when we won the championship! We have lots of new faces, a new coach and also the number one draft pick, jewell loyd.
We have just had 4 days off for the all star break, and I am currently on a 5 hour flight heading to Washington, D.C. For a week long road trip against Washington, Connecticut and NY.
The schedule over here is so crazy. So different to home. We travel so much, we are away on week + long road trips, and we also play a lot more games in a shorter time than the WNBL.
We are now onto the second part of the season, with a lot of home games as we have got lots of the away games out the way with a gruelling first half of the season but with a nice run of games at home to end the season…..it’ll be great for the group and also the fans in Seattle.
Zala is nearly two. I am still coming to terms with it. Time flies, it really does. She’s good though, she’s loving it over here, I mean she knows no different but she’s a happy little girl who’s always up to something because she can’t sit still, but the main thing is that she’s happy!! She enjoys coming into the locker room after the home games and giving the girls high fives or even knuckles, she’s a good reminder that while basketball is our job and it’s important, there are many other important things in life also!
The weather over here has been so nice. As you know it’s summer. Some places we play get up to about 40 degrees and yep I am still trying to work out the whole Fahrenheit thing……
Seattle has been lovely. Most apartments in Seattle don’t have aircons, so for a while there were sleepless nights because it was just too hot. Now we have an aircon in the apartment it’s much more comfortable.
The team. They’re all lovely. Lots of different personalities but the one thing I really like about this team is no matter who plays, who doesn’t, everyone is treated equal and everyone is there for the same reasons. To get better whilst rebuilding the storm, it’s like the foundation has gone down on the house and from there we build up….we’re all in it together, regardless of wins and losses, it’s about getting better together and individually and as a team. So I am really grateful to be apart of this team with a great group of players and staff.
If you want to keep up with what’s going on basketball wide, the website is www.wnba.com and they also have an app which is really handy.
Sorry for being slack with the updates but as you can all imagine, I have been flat out.
If anyone has any questions feel free to tweet me @Abby_Knight10
A & Z
Just wanted to give you a quick update with what’s happening in the life of A&Z.
It was an unfortunate end to the season for the Capitals. We played so well at the end of the season, and the last regular season game got a huge win over the reigning champs, Bendigo. It was then out of our control, and we had to wait and see what happened the next day, between Townsville and Sydney. We needed Sydney to lose, and like the rest of the basketball community, we thought this was going to happen!!
Things didn’t go our way, and Sydney played finals-like basketball taking the win – which meant they took 4th spot and our season was done!! Just like that. It was such a shame to end the season like that, but it is what it is, and that’s how sport goes!
For Zala and I, an opportunity came up in Europe to finish off the rest of their season! The European season is longer than the WNBL season, so it was a great chance for us to come over and play in another league, and stay fit for a couple more months, before heading to WNBA.
So we took this opportunity, and we left not long after the season; 5 days after our last game actually, and we are now in Miskolc, Hungary!!
Things have been good here so far. It’s the 3rd largest city in Miskolc, it’s super cold, but the Canberra winters have prepared me for the this kind of cold, and the people here are all lovely.
Our living arrangements are nice, right near the gym, so I walk to practice everyday, which is handy too! Everyone at the club has been so helpful; not just with me, but with Zala too which as you all know, means a lot to me.
Our team finished the regular season 3rd on the ladder. I played 2 of the regular season games, and next we have the Hungarian Cup. I was lucky enough to win this with a different team last season, and this year our first game is against my old team Peac Pécs. It will be good to see my old team mates, but once we are on the court it will be a different story!!
After the Hungarian cup, the finals begin. It’s best of 3 games….and then the grand final is a best of 5 series. Something that would be great in the WNBL (3 game series)
Zala has fitted in well to Hungarian life. Everyone here just loves her. The girls all love her and even the old people on the street take a second to look at her too, and she gives them a little wave or blows them a kiss, which just lights up their faces. She’s been going to the park a lot, and also going on lots of walks with her nanny, who came over from Australia with us.
Hope everyone is happy and well.
Oh and Zala and I both think Townsville are going to be the WNBL champs! We will be keeping an eye on the live stats at 1am Saturday morning our time to see who takes out the title!!
Love, from Hungary.
It’s been a little while but I am back 🙂
So I feel like a broken record this season, but yeah that was another disappointing game.
Regardless of if they’re the top team or not, other teams have proven they are beatable, and we went up north with the mindset that we could create an upset. We just needed more contributors and to follow the game plan that was in place….strangely enough, a game plan is in place for a reason.
Maybe I am a harsh critic, I don’t know, or more to the point, I am just a competitor and I don’t like losing……I have high expectations of myself, and of my team mates!! You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise for us to win we need everyone on the same page, and everyone contributing in their own way!
Anyways the end score didn’t reflect on the actual game, but we lost, 2pts or 30pts, a loss is a loss. Suzy Batkovic played her 250th game (congrats Suz) and Cayla Francis was out to redeem herself after her 1/11 performance last weekend and she also just signed in the WNBA (congrats Cayla). They combined for almost 50points, which has been every teams struggle this season v Townsville!! Tough ask to stop them two big girls!
Adelaide did us a favour by beating Sydney which was nice, so now we have to take care of business and beat Bendigo next weekend, and hope for Sydney to drop a game for us to keep that 4th spot.
The season is still alive for us, so we will be back on the training track for a good week of practice ahead of the game v Bendigo on Friday night.
We all know that Bendigo are a good team, but we are confident against them as we beat them only a couple of weeks ago, and we feel like we match up well against them!
We for sure won’t be taking them lightly, it’s gonna be a 40 minute grind for sure.
Zala has been at her nana Lexi’s since Wednesday. I had no other option this weekend for our last road trip, I didn’t want to bring her as its a little too far and a short trip which makes it hard for an 18 month old, so mum and I met half way between Canberra and Dubbo, on the side of the road…..it was a 5 hour round trip for the both of us, but a nice drive, seeing everything so green!!
I have been getting photos daily of all the fun she’s been having in Dubbo, and updates about her sleeping!! She seems to sleep much better for everyone else, but she’s still been waking up 1-2 times a night for nana Lex. I think she really pushes her boundaries with me, I think that’s normal for a child, but it’s becoming more and more obvious to me as she gets older.
Her sleeping wasn’t getting any better so I decided it was time for a big bed. Even though she’s still little, I had to try something. I went and got her a single bed, and some side bed rails to stop her falling out, and gave it a crack. I must say she has been sleeping much better in her big girl bed, but now the problem is getting out of her bed when she wants. I have a lot to teach her but I do have to remember she’s just a baby!!
Whilst on the Zala subject, let me tell you about how careful I now have to be with what I say around her! In just a couple of weeks her talking has gone from a little to a lot.
She also copies now, so I do need to watch what I say in front of her……I have a little parrot on my hands! It’s cute tho, she says lots of new words, and tries very hard to say what I tell her to!!
Soooo one more regular season home game!!! Make sure you get down to the AIS ARENA, as its going to be the most important one of the regular season and your last opportunity to see the caps play at the AIS arena for this season!
The brumbies play after us too, so it makes for a great sporting night out. 🙂
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend
A & Z xo
2015…..here we are!! Hoping everyone had a lovely christmas and new year period with family and friends.
The Caps had a tough start to the new year, with a double header to kick off 2015.
Things didn’t go as planned for us, we went up to Townsville knowing it was going to be an extremely tough game, but getting whooped by 40 + points was never what we expected.
We left that game behind us, took a couple of things away from it but then decided we wouldn’t talk about it, or dwell on it because we had one day in between before we faced Dandenong at home. Our attention quickly turned to this game and we knew it was such an important game for us.
We ended up dropping this game too, but it was a cracker of a game, with many people saying it’s one of the best WNBL games this season. High quality basketball, with lots of contributors, and it went down to the wire. A game for the spectators for sure.
We were obviously disappointed, but we walked away feeling a little positive as we had played a great game of basketball, and there can only be one winner…..it was just unfortunate it wasn’t us.
A good week on the training track, we were all prepared for the game v Perth last Friday night. Everyone knew we HAD to win this game.
We were out to prove a point, and I think the girls all did this really well. We got a convincing win, and regardless of the score line, we still played great basketball. It was also nice to see some of the girls who don’t usually see much court time, get on the court and make an impact.
The last couple of weeks for me have been tough.
Since coming back from the Christmas break Zala has decided she doesn’t want to sleep, at all.
If anyone watched our last 2 home games you would have seen me curled over on the bench…..this was just from pure exhaustion due to lack of sleep.
I’ve been napping during the days, when I can, to try and catch up on sleep because 4-6 hours a night is not enough for me to function!
It can only get better though, that’s how I look at it….and I am lucky to have such an understanding team and coach.
We had the weekend off, so what does a basketball player do on a day off?
Goes and watches basketball. Of course.
Myself and 2 of my team mates drove down to Wollongong for the day to watch the Hawks V Breakers. I have a good friend who plays for the hawks, Tyson Demos,so it was nice that our schedules allowed for me to get down and watch him play.
The Hawks ended up going down by 2 points but it was a great game of basketball to watch.
I have just launched my own website, if you get a spare minute, check it out www.abbybishop.net
We are all looking forward to the game on Thursday night V Sydney. From here on out we need to win each and every game. One game at a time but we know what we have to do, it’s now about continuing with the rhythm we have from our last 2 games and also improving as a team at the same time.
Hope to see you all at the game on Thursday.
Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Sydney, Canberra. All in the space of 8 days. My little girl is a well travelled 16 month old.
Our last 2 games before the Christmas break were so important, as previously written about, but I am so happy we managed to go into Christmas break with both wins.
The Adelaide game was tough, it went down to the wire but we stuck with the game plan, and walked away with the win.
It was great to have Lauren back for that game too, after being out injured for so long. The Perth game was always going to be tough. After a game 24 hours earlier, travel on game day, and the last game before Christmas break, it was more of a mental challenge than anything else.
We had players step up that we haven’t seen much of this season, so that was so great to see and hopefully that can be a weekly thing, if we are serious about winning, we need everyone contributing!
Zala and I then headed off to Darwin for our Christmas break. It was lovely to spend time with family and enjoy the hot weather and relaxed life style that the NT has to offer. I have a soft spot for Darwin, I just love the small city living, relaxed feel and the weather.
The week went way too fast though, and we are back in Canberra, ready to tackle the second half of the season.
We have 9 games left…..and with the league the way it is this season, no easy beats at all.
We kept our finals hopes alive by winning the last 2 games in 2014, and now that everyone is refreshed after the break, I expect the Caps to come out looking a lot different to what everyone saw during the first half of the season.
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with family and friends. Enjoy your New Years celebrations, and see you all in 2015.
What a game on Sunday. We came so close to the league leaders, Townsville, who for sure are the title favorites this season.We knew it was going to be a huge game even with them coming off a game 24 hours earlier.
The girls all showed true character, and fought for most of the game. I would say it would have been a good game to watch, as we matched it with them for majority of the 40 minutes. It was physical, intense, and both teams had good contributions from players. A few defensive errors and a couple of easy baskets missed hurt us in the end, but we walked away from that game, feeling ok about ourselves, and we took lots of positives from that loss too.
This weekend we take on Adelaide and Perth. Our last two games before the Christmas break. On the road and back to back obviously makes this trip tough, but we all know how important both of these games are for us as a team and for us to push forward in the New Year to make a run for finals, but I am hoping everyone’s “extra” motivation is the week off with family and friends afterwards.
For me, I am really looking forward to this break, I have carried a pretty heavy work load for the first half of the season and also had a couple of niggly injuries, so this is going to be great for my body to refresh and also for my mind. I am not looking too far ahead though; I know how important these two games are for us, as does everyone else.
Being a tall girl, buying clothes and shoes are hard so I thought I would give people who are interested, a little run down of where I get my clothes and shoes from. I get most of my pants/jeans from an online shop in America called Alloy. www.alloy.com.au They go up to a 38” inseam and this really is a tall girls dream come true. There are a couple of online websites in Australia that do stock long jeans too and one is Jeans West. www.jeanswest.com.au They also go up to a 38” inseam, but I find that Alloy has much more variety. The other is G STAR. They are hit and miss and usually you have to go into the shop to find these.
With my shoes, I was a big lover of barefoottess which was an American online shoe shop that went up to a size 16 women’s shoe. Long tall sally have bought them out now and the variety is just not the same as it was before. They still do have big shoes though so I cant complain. 🙂 www.longtallsally.com
That’s a little run down for you, hopefully if you are a tall girl, or just have long legs and or big feet, you’ll find some things on the above websites. Or you can pass on that information to any of your tall friends/family.
If you want to follow the UCCAPS journey make sure you go and follow them us on social media.
Twitter – @CanberraCaps
Instagram – UCCAPITALS
Facebook – www.facebook.com/CanberraCaps
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
A & Z xx
Well, not sure where the first half of the season has gone, but here we are, nearly at the Christmas break.
Obviously right about now, as an overall we are not too happy about some of the results this season, but the good news is there is still time to turn that around and we have showed lots of positives, so we know what we are capable of. It doesn’t get any easier for us though, taking on the league leaders Townsville, this weekend.
For us, it will be a great challenge, we are the under dogs for this game so the pressure is on them.
As most of you would be aware, 15 months ago, my life changed dramatically, all for the better of course.
This season especially I have learnt a lot more about juggling being a mum and a professional athlete. Being organized is the key. I have always been an organized person but having Zala has made me take this to a whole new level.
I guess for me its just been about adjusting too, and one big thing from last season to this season has been the whole “on the move” thing. Zala isn’t that little baby who sleeps in her pram through trainings and games anymore, she now wants to run onto the court, do everything that everyone else is doing, and of course, wants my attention more than anything else.
It makes it easier that I have such wonderful friends around who love looking after Zala, during games and the occasional practice. I really wouldn’t be able to have done what I did, without these people.
The UCCAPS have been amazing too. I have childcare in my contract, for weekly training sessions, so she goes to a nanny, which is not far from where we practice. This helps me a lot, obviously because she is on the move and it would be extremely hard to practice with her running onto the court every 5 minutes.
The one thing that I probably struggle the most with is the lack of sleep. She was such a great sleeper until we both went and lived in Hungary for 3 months. Since then, she usually wakes up 2/3/4 times a night. I have no idea why, and I have tried everything. These are the times I wish she could talk, and tell me why she is waking up, or cant get back to sleep.
Although this week it seems to have improved, I’m really hoping it stays that way, i won’t be holding my breath though.
If you’re around and free on Sunday at 3pm, make sure you come down to the AIS arena to cheer us on. It should be a great game and I did hear a little secret that Santa will be making an appearance 🙂
GO GO GO (Zalas favorite thing to say at the moment) I think she really means GO CAPS!!
Ab and Zala xo
For detailed information about the WNBL, please click here www.wnbl.com.au