Women's Basketball Q&A: Paige Fecske

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Paige Fecske, a rising junior on the women's basketball team, won a gold medal with the United States at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel. She talks to us about her experience and emotions at the Maccabiah Games as well as her plans for what's left of the summer:

Paige  Fecske

Q: You recently won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 2017 Maccabiah Games. Can you tell us about your experience?

A: Well, it was my first time leaving the country all by myself, so it was quite nerve-wracking in the beginning. But it was amazing getting to explore Israel with people who I hadn't really met before, while having the opportunity to play basketball. It was awesome getting to play with someone who we played against last season, Drew Edelman from UCSB. She is a stud post player.

Q: Was it your first time playing in the Maccabiah Games?

A: This was the first time I had heard about the Maccabiah Games, so yes!

Q: Since it was your first time going to Israel, what was that like for you personally and what did it mean to your family for you to travel and play there?

A: It was an adventure for sure and going by myself gave me a chance to grow as an individual. I was the only one who went without any family so I was able to give myself fully to basketball and to meeting new people. My grandmother was very excited for me to go because she had never been to Israel before. Overall, it was very special for me to go to Israel and I am so glad I went, even though I was very nervous going alone.

Q: What were some of your emotions while you were playing and after you won gold medal?

A: During the game my emotions were pretty relaxed until the end when we started to gain a lead against Israel. I was crazy stoked! The best part of the game was going up for a chest bump with my teammate Emily. I basically got body slammed down to the ground but everyone got a good laugh during the game, which lightened the mood!

Q: What was the most memorable part of your trip?

A: The most memorable part of my trip was honestly just any time I got to spend with my new lifelong friends who I am lucky to now have! But if I had to pick one thing it would be the day we went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel, and I read off the name of a Hungarian boxer who was killed, in honor of my grandmother who is still alive and a survivor of the Holocaust from Hungary. Also, I blogged every single day while I was there and it was awesome to get people's feedback throughout my journey. My friend Lauren Rothfeld and I would have journal time every day.

Q: What was the most important thing you learned that you can use to help you in your future basketball endeavors?

A: I learned the importance of knowing each person on your team individually. Everyone is different and needs something that another person may not need from their point guard.

Q: Is playing internationally different than playing in the U.S.?

A: Yes very different. They don't call fouls. And the key is much wider in Israel than in the U.S. But besides that, basketball is basketball.

Q: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

A: For the rest of the summer I am going to continue to work on my game while spending time with my family in New York for a few weeks.

Q: What are you working to improve on for this upcoming season?

A: I am working on my dribbling, shooting, passing and communication skills.

Q: What are you most excited about for your junior year?

A: I am most excited for our new coach, DeLisha Milton-Jones. She has so much experience and wisdom to share with us and I cannot wait to get back to work with everyone in the fall.

Q: What should fans expect for this upcoming season?

A: The fans will get to see how the program has grown and players have developed together as a team and individually. It will be a great season.

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