"Sport is a world where you can help better yourself and better people around you."
During her high school basketball career at Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon, Krista Phillips helped the squad win 63 out of 64 games. In her senior year, the 6-foot-6 centre was the top scorer in the league with 19.2 points per game.
Needless to say, the Saskatoon product quickly attracted the attention of American college teams.
"I had spent some time with the Canadian National Team , and The University of Michigan was recruiting one other player that played for the national team at the time," said Phillips. "It just so happened that they saw me play and I guess they liked what they saw.
"Once one college is interested in you, word gets around. I did a couple camps in the States where I got some exposure. It just took off from there. There were probably 50-80 colleges interested. I was getting tons mail and phone calls. It was funny because my grandparents were living with us at the time, so my grandma became my unofficial secretary because I got so much mail."
Phillips decided to join The University of Michigan, falling in love with the college during her official visit. She enjoyed four successful years with the Wolverines, finishing with 1,090 career points (No. 18 on the university's all-time scoring list) and 707 rebounds (No. 9). She was named the team's top rebounder from 2008-10.
"While we didn't necessarily have the best four years as a team, individually I got better every year," said Phillips.
Following graduation from college, Phillips returned to Canada and got the chance to fulfill her ultimate dream. Phillips, who was a member of Canada's Junior National Women's Basketball Team from 2005-06, and Senior National Team 2009-2011, was selected to the Canadian team competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Canada reached the quarterfinals for the first time in the program's history, finishing eighth.
"How do you put it into words?" she said. "It's like your dreams come true, basically. I have dreamed about it since I was a kid."
Phillips was invited to some training camps in the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL), but the camps conflicted with her national team schedule. She signed with the Dandenong Rangers of Australia's WNBL and then retired last April.
Phillips is grateful for her involvement in basketball. She has done some motivational speaking and assisted at various basketball camps. Phillips encourages other women to get involved in sport. She's a great example of what you can achieve through sport.
"In a world full of opportunities, this is something you can do to help better yourself," Phillip said. "Sports can teach you all types of things, not only as a person but as a woman. It opens doors. It's somewhere where you can go to have fun, or you can be competitive and take it to the next level. You can get into coaching and to give back. Sport is a world where you can help better yourself and better people around you."