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Sports This Week: Humboldt's Crozon bound for Summer Olympics

Achieving the long-pursued goal has meant a range of emotions for Crozon.
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Paige Crozon, who hails from Humboldt, had a notable college career with four years playing NCAA Division I basketball at the University of Utah, where she scored more than 1,000 career points and served as team captain for two seasons.

YORKTON - Humboldt’s Paige Crozon is headed to the Summer Olympics.

Crozon, and teammates Kacie Bosch, and Katherine and Michelle Plouffe recently became Canada’s first 3x3 team to qualify for an Olympic Games. They punched their ticket to Paris with a 21-10 victory against host-team Hungary in the third-place game at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament earlier this month (May).

Crozon and her teammates have accomplished many things on the court, but qualifying for the Olympics has moved to the top of the list.

“I would say so,” she said. “It’s the one goal we’ve been working toward for five years.”

Finally achieving the long-pursued goal has meant a range of emotions for Crozon.

“There’s definitely many emotions experienced the last couple of days,” she told Yorkton This Week in a May 23 interview.

To begin with the team had come up a few points short of qualifying for the Olympics at an earlier tournament. Crozon said while there was disappointment in that result, they couldn’t dwell on as the team had to refocus for the run at the second qualifier.

Finally getting the Olympic spot then became in part relief, but also “excitement, joy, pride,” said Crozon.

Making the entire experience more intense was the closeness a 3x3 basketball team develops, with only four players – three on the court at any one time.

Crozon said developing a camaraderie both on the court – and off the court as they have travelled as a unit for five years – has been critical in terms of their success.

In the Olympic qualifying contest Canada was led by a nine-point, five rebound performance from Katherine Plouffe against Hungary, while Michelle Plouffe added eight points and eight rebounds.

Canada led Hungary 18-10 with 1:32 remaining. After back-to-back buckets from Katherine Plouffe, it was Crozon who grabbed an offensive board off of her own missed shot and scored the game-winning, Olympics-clinching basket with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.

Now the focus is on preparing for Paris where the team will be one with expectations for a Canadian medal.

“People externally tell us what they hope we achieve,” said Crozon, adding those external expectations are no greater than the team’s own.

“We’re going to the Olympics to win a gold medal.”

That said Crozon said they are also realize nothing is assured so they will focus on taking care of what they can ahead of the Games – preparation, nutrition, how hard they train, what their game plan is.

So what will it take in the end to be atop the podium?

“I think we all have to be our best during that week,” offered Crozon, adding that will mean “a 100 per cent effort.”