Women’s basketball player excels overseas

Brad Tansey

Tamzin Barroilhet felt goose bumps when “God Save the Queen” rang out at the FIBA European Championship.

She started to cry.

“All the players on the team were singing,” Barroilhet said. “I don’t know. It’s just those special moments you just dream of living, and when it actually happens, you’re like ‘wow’.”

Great Britain defeated Slovakia 47-46 in the game. Although Barroilhet didn’t score, she played great defense.

When the game was over and Great Britain won, Barroilhet described her emotions as “overwhelmed.”

“They gave us our gold medals, put them around our neck, then they called us out,” Barroilhet said. “The president of the Macedonian Basketball Federation called me out and handed me over the trophy.

“I took a picture with him and got to kiss the cup and then the tradition of bringing it to the team and holding it up was really special.”

She was named captain of Great Britain’s Under-20 team at the beginning of the season.

Being a captain for Great Britain has benefited Barroilhet with being more vocal on the court.

“For me, it was more of a summer session to get back into the game, and being named captain was a big step for me,” Barroilhet said. “Although I’ve done it before, but not at this level. So for me, it was a big step just because I knew I had more responsibilities of being vocal on the court and it’s something I need to work on.”

While Barroilhet was born in Great Britain, she grew up in France and is a dual citizen of both countries.

Barroilhet said she has a lot of pride for playing for her home country.

“The first time I actually felt really proud was the first time I got my kit with my name on the back, and I was just thinking, ‘wow I have my name on my shirt right now,’” Barroilhet said. “I was just thinking about all those hours you put in shooting, practicing, just being in the gym.”

Barroilhet transferred to Kent State last season. She is making the transition to point guard this year.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said the different game style has benefited Barroilhet.

“Generally speaking, it’s less physical, more finessey,” Lindsay said. “Players that play a Euro-style of game have played more on the perimeter.”

Although she transferred to Kent State last season, Barroilhet was forced to sit out the entire 2009-2010 season because of the NCAA transfer regulations.

Barroilhet said she is excited to learn a new position.

“I like playing that position,” she said. “It’s a hard position. You have a lot of things to take in and a lot to take out to give to the team. You have to be very vocal and know every play, and not only know what you’re doing, but know what everybody else is doing.”

As for season goals, Barroilhet said she wants to bring as much to the team as possible.

“I want to be a threat to the other teams,” she said. “Because being a threat, you can’t just have your five starting players be your threat. If the whole team is a threat, and we have rotations going in, it’s just going to be impossible for other teams to stop us.”

Barroilhet’s leadership thrived for Great Britain during the tournament.

In an earlier game, Barroilhet hit a game-winning shot against Macedonia, the tournament’s host team. She finished with 10 points in 26 minutes of playing time.

Down two points with 10 seconds left in the game, Barroilhet got the ball on the inbounds pass. She was at the top of the wing when the post player picked her defender, allowing her to drive to the basket.

She hit the key layup and was also fouled during the process.

At the foul line, Barroilhet said she was focused on making the shot because her team had practiced shooting free throws in clutch situations earlier in the day.

“We knew (Macedonia’s) public going to be their sixth man,” she said. “During that morning practice, (the coach) made us the team, and each time a girl would go to the free throw line, we would go crazy, scream, shout.”

The practice paid off as Barroilhet hit the key free throw to put her team up by one with only a couple seconds left.

“It was one of the most amazing feelings,” she said. “I think on the moment, you don’t actually realize it, but once the buzzer goes and your team comes to you and jumps in your arms and thanks God you were there and made that shot.

“It’s those moments that you kind of work for as a basketball player.”

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].