July 18, 2012

Former EWU Women’s Basketball Star Julie Page Gears Up for Olympic Debut in London

After an inspiring win against eighth-ranked France and another stern test today against top-rated USA, Great Britain captain Julie Page is more than ready for the big stage

Follow Julie’s Olympic journey on Twitter - @Juliepage10

It has been three weeks since she was officially named to the Great Britain Olympic team, two years since her national team qualified for the prestigious international event, and a lifetime of dreaming of this moment.

On July 28, former Eastern Washington women’s basketball standout Julie Page will make her Olympic debut as part of the Great Britain Olympic team. Page, a native of Stockport, Cheshire, England, is especially lucky to be a member of this particular Olympic team, as she will be playing in front of her home crowd.

“We are immensely proud of Julie and her success as a member of the Great Britain national team,” said EWU head coach Wendy Schuller, who coached Page from 2004-06. “I hope the entire Eagle nation stands up and cheers for one of their own when Julie takes the court next week.”

Great Britain will compete in Group B, with its first contest against world No. 2 Australia on Saturday, July 28 at 2:15 p.m. Pacific time. Team GB will also play Canada, Russia, France and Brazil in the preliminary stage. Teams receive two points for a win and one for a loss during this round. The top four teams from each group (A and B) qualify for the knockout stage, with the winners of the semi-finals going head-to-head in the gold medal game.  

Great Britain recently recorded a confidence-boosting win against France - ranked No. 8 in the world - during a pre-Games tournament in Sheffield, England. Page contributed eight points and nine rebounds in the 74-67 upset, as Great Britain rallied from a two-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.

Following that big win against France, Great Britain faced gold-medal favorite USA on Wednesday, July 18 in another exhibition match in Manchester, England. The star-studded American team handled Team GB 88-63, but it was a good test for Great Britain, which has never been represented in women’s basketball at the Olympics before this year.

During her Eagle career, Page averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds. She was selected as the Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2004, and went on to earn All-Big Sky Honorable Mention accolades in 2005 and First-Team honors in 2006. Eastern advanced to the Big Sky Tournament in each of her three years with the team.

As a pro in Europe, Page has played for a number of top clubs in Germany, Italy, France, and most recently Energa Torun of Poland. As part of the Great Britain national team (pictured left), Page established herself as one of the most vital scoring and rebounding threats, averaging 11.5 points and seven rebounds per game during the 2010 season. She led the team to a spot in the EuroBasket Women Finals 2011 for the first time in history. For her exceptional play in that tournament, Page was named the British Basketball Player of the Year, given to the most outstanding performer (male or female) on national duty.

Page will continue to represent her country, but this time in the most world’s esteemed event.

“I am not sure how many Eagles have actually competed in the Olympic games, but as a coach, I realize the significance of this opportunity and feel fortunate to have coached an Olympian,” said Schuller. “Looking back on her career, I always felt like Julie was a tremendous talent. She has blossomed into an incredible player. “

More articles on Julie Page…

Stockport basketball ace Julie Page on how her Olympic build-up was helped by a chilly spell in Poland - Manchester Evening News

Now Julie Page out to earn her stripes for Great Britain - Manchester Evening News

GB Basketball ready for medals at London Olympics - The Telegraph

Julie Page delight at Olympic inclusion - Manchester Evening News

Former Eagle competing at the 2012 London Olympics - The Easterner

Page writes new chapter in England - The Spokesman Review

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