Golden Girl: Ashley Corral Talks About Team USA

July 30, 2008

Fresh off the plane from an Argentinian adventure, USC incoming freshman Ashley Corral takes the time to share her golden experience from the U.S. Under-18 National Team. Corral was Team USA's starting guard through its dominating run to a gold medal at the U-18 FIBA Americas Championships this month in Argentina. Corral averaged 8.8 points, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game to stand out as one of the top players in the tournament. Soon, she will set up camp at Troy, joining her Trojan teammates as they start the push toward the coming 2008-09 season.
Catch up with Ashley in her first Trojan Diary...

I arrived in Colorado Springs July 10th and got straight to work with practice. We had two weeks to get ready to represent our country in Argentina at the FIBA championships, where we played five games in five days against Venazuela, Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Argentina.

Practice in Colorado Springs at the U.S.A. training center was very tough. Coach Carol Owens was hard on us. We ran for every turnover, every offensive rebound we gave up, and every missed free throw. The change in altitude was the one thing that hit us the hardest. It was truly one of the toughest training camps I have ever gone through. I went through the same routine everyday. I got up, ate breakfast, got my ankles taped, had practice, took an ice bath, ate lunch, took a nap, got my ankles taped, had practice, ate dinner, and went to bed. This routine never changed, until it was time for a change in scenery. It was time to head to Washington D.C.

After a quick bus ride and flight we were in D.C. This was a huge change for me. It was so humid and hot! The lively city is completely different from my hometown of Vancouver, Wash. People and cars were always flying by me. We trained at the Verizon Center, where the Wizards and Mystics play. We took some team time and toured all of the monuments and went to two Mystics games. The sites were incredible! I loved getting the opportunity to finally see our nation's capitol. After two weeks of two-a-days and tough workouts, it was finally time to go to Argentina and play for the gold!!

This next flight was the longest flight of my life! It was a 10-and-a-half hour flight to Argentina. I have never been out of the country or had to travel that long. I was exhausted! We sat in the airport in Buenos Aires and waited for the bus to come get us and take us to Cenard. We had one last practice that night to finalize and polish up things before our first game against Venezuela. Buenos Aires was very different from what we were all used to, but we had to get over it and take care of business.

When game day finally came, we were more than ready! Putting on my home USA jersey was an amazing feeling. The uniforms were so nice and perfect. We were ready to hit the court and represent our country. We had the first game of the tournament at 3 p.m. The rules in international basketball are different from basketball in the States. We came out with some nerves and a lot of excitement. But we were calmed down by the second half and jumped on Venezuela, beating them 116-49. We still needed to pick it up with a tough Canada team coming up the next day. We went on to beat Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Argentina in the next four days, and won the gold medal at the tournament!

I am really happy to be representing America and proud to wear USA across my chest. This will be something I never forget. My team, the experiences we went through, and the adversity we came upon and got through will be a lifelong memory I never forget.

-Ashley Corral

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