Vikes forward Kristy Gallagher stands at the UVic Sports Walk of Excellence. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Vikes forward Kristy Gallagher stands at the UVic Sports Walk of Excellence. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Parkland grad leads by example on the court

When Kristy Gallagher was a freshman player on the UVic Vikes basketball team, she was spending too much time on the bench.

She was a standout on the Parkland Secondary high school team, but Gallagher said she had a tough transition into university-level basketball.

“Going from head of the pack to having to earn everything, every day, right away is really difficult,” said Gallagher.

To improve her game, she trained every day in May and June, sometimes twice a day, and she ended up starting in her second year. Now in her fourth year, she has become a leader on the team, earned a place on the Vikes Honour Roll (which requires an 80 per cent average), and was chosen as a U-SPORT Academic All-Canadian.

She said that experience makes her a better mentor other first-year players struggling in the same way.

“I understand where they’re coming from and I’ve gotten to the other side.” said Gallagher.

As one of three fourth-years on the team, Gallagher is a senior member, and she said it’s hard to fill the shoes of last year’s leaders. But, it helps that Gallagher’s roommate is Nicole Karstein, one of those leaders who Gallagher said led by example when she was a younger player. She now tries to do the same for others.

Gallagher is optimistic about this season, even though the loss of three senior members was tough. The Vikes lost two games to Trinity Western that she felt were winnable, “but that was earlier in the season” and they ended the first half of the season with two big wins over Alberta, where the Vikes held them to under their average “which is unheard of” because Gallagher said “we’re the team that scores a lot but we also let teams score 15 more than they average.”

The Vikes have been working hard to improve their defence, getting stops and keeping possession, so “it was a good way to end the first half of the season.”

“I feel like the cohesion on the team has gone really well and I’m happy to be a part of that process,” she said.

Gallagher, a Recreation and Health Education student, is still figuring out what she wants to do after her university career. She likes the idea of playing basketball while completing a master’s degree in Europe, and could see herself as the athletic director of a university someday.

She is still in touch with her Parkland coach, Larry Green, and she said they talk on the phone at least once a week about “everything,” not just basketball.

“He’s a big part of my life still. He inspired by motivation for basketball and got everything going there. And continuously pushed me. It’s a big part of where I am today.”

Gallagher said she tries to be a presence for the current group of Parkland girls, helping out at practices where she can, even though she doesn’t get out to Sidney as much as she’d like. Her family are “huge supporters,” streaming every away game and cheering her on at home, but “they’re obviously biased,” whereas she will sometimes get a text from Green saying “you’ve got to move your feet!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read