It’s been a whirlwind year for Prince Rupert’s Carly Cochrane.
The 17-year-old baller has been named an All-Star four times this year already and won a Junior All Native Basketball Tournament.
“This year has been an eye-opener for me. It really gives me hope for the future and brightened my mood,” Cochrane said.
In January, the Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) student travelled to Vancouver with her senior girls’ Rainmakers team for the Big Kahuna tournament and was named an All-Star, then she also garnered that honour at the zone championships.
Topping that, Cochrane was named an All Star at the All Native Basketball Tournament with the Prince Rupert Rain, and at the Junior All Native Basketball Tournament, where she won it all with her Greenville team.
It’s an experience she considers her greatest accomplishment and a memory she will never forget.
“It was the last couple of minutes of the game and all our fans and family were just singing the greeting song, a Nisga’a song, and once I heard that song, I just wanted to cry. That was the best part of the game,” Cochrane recalled.
Basketball has always been in her blood — it’s something in the Cochrane name. She grew up watching her mom, Tracy, and her sister, Cary, play the game, so it was only natural to follow suit.
Cochrane started playing in the Prince Rupert Minor Basketball Association in Grade 2, which led to playing for the Prince Rupert Middle School Storm in Grade 8, where she also was named an All-Star when the team won zones.
From there, she has played for the Rainmakers for the last three seasons. Cochrane just wrapped up her second year at the ANBT, where the Rain finished fourth. In her first tournament in 2016, she was named the women’s most promising player.
Although winning the junior all native is a big accomplishment, Cochrane hopes to top that one day by helping the Rain win at the All Native Basketball Tournament. Representing her Nisga’a nation has been an honour.
“It definitely gives me pride because Prince Rupert is where I live and where I grew up and I get to play alongside my mom and my sister,” she said.
Basketball has always been a form of escape for Cochrane.
“I like the sport because when I play, it gets my mind off everything. Once you get on the court, it’s just basketball,” she said.
She still has one year of high school basketball left, but Cochrane hopes that isn’t the end.
“I want to continue playing basketball as long as I can, as long as I’m able to,” she said.
Cochrane is already eyeing a couple universities for college basketball: Thompson Rivers University and Vancouver Island University.
Despite the highs 2017 has brought her, Cochrane has had her fair share of challenges too.
“I’ve never had an injury but I think something challenging is playing basketball with shin splits and plantar fasciitis. It’s just mind over matter. When I’m playing, I’m not thinking about it or I try not to. I just got to keep pushing through that,” she said.
Cochrane, who also plays soccer through Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association, has learned a lot through the sport, most of all about teamwork.
“You need your team, you need your whole team. You can’t just be playing for player of the game or you can’t just be playing for the trophies, you’ve got to be playing for everybody,” she said.
“Your teammates are your family and you have to trust in them.”