Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chatting with Mairi Buchan on the first day of practice for Old Dominion

Day 1 of Old Dominion practice on Sunday, and you know what was refreshing? Mairi Buchan minus the boot and minus any signs of the foot problems that kept the 6-2 center sidelined all of last season. In fact, the redshirt junior looked so fit, she beat out her teammates in full-court sprints.

We chatted with Mairi for a bit afterward, and here's what she had to say.

You looked great out there!

I feel good. I'm in much better shape, even than I was over the summer. I'm fit.

How's that right foot?

It feels good most of the time. I get a few twinges now and then, but nothing big. That's to be expected.

Take us through the chronology of your injury.

A lot of people thought, 'Why is it taking so long for her to come back?' I had a stress fracture, and in October (2010),  I had surgery where I got screws in my foot. I rehabbed and then I had another surgery in March, same foot, another stress fracture. I had (the problem that led) to the second surgery for years.  When I was changing my gait, that put more pressure on it.

You played for Great Britain during the World University Games in China over the summer. Are you still hopeful you'll be part of the 2012 Olympic team?

I  played in August, and I still didn't feel fit. I didn't do what I wanted to do. We have a conditioning camp in December, and I guess they're cutting, and there's a training camp May 1 (2012). You have to be invited. We'll see.

How do you feel about these Lady Monarchs?

We all had a really good preseason. We all worked hard. Everybody is very positive. We play through our mistakes, and there's a lot more running.

What part of your game are you working on?

I have to work on staying much lower on offense and on defense, because I have a tendency to play how I walk (Very proper!). I'm trying to change my shot a little bit, too, so it's not in front of me so much.

You're still planning to be a doctor?

Yes. I'm graduating in May. I only have two classes next semester and I'm trying to get an internship at a hospital or something. I want to stay here for medical school, somewhere on the East Coast. It's really expensive, but I will apply for loans or scholarships.

Is EVMS a possibility?

They don't accept international applications. VCU doesn't, either.

So, you've become rather fond of the U.S.?

I feel like it's my fourth year and I've gotten used to it here. When I go home to Scotland, it's always the same. Nothing ever changes. It just feels so much smaller. I can always go home and visit my parents and my family. They're always going to be there.

And your brother, Cameron?

He's actually rowing at Northeastern. He got a couple of offers from basketball, but he wanted to be at a Division I school.

Makes that trip to Boston a little more fun come conference season.

Jan 8, I think. My mom goes back to work on the 9th or 10th, so I don't know if she'll be there. Maybe my dad will. They're coming here for Christmas.

It must be great for you to be playing again.

I got to the point last year where I didn't want to come to games. Once I got closer to getting back, I was more excited. I was able to motivate myself and motivate other people.

I'm definitely back!

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