Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh, Pye! Former William and Mary guard excited about playing in Norway

She can't wait to see the Northern Lights, bundle up for the chilly climate and of course, play great basketball, too.

Welcome to Norway, Taysha Pye! Or to be more specific, welcome to Bergen, home of Gimle, the team that recently signed the former William and Mary star, whose 1,679 points are second most in school history.

Overseas ball has been a long time coming. After taking a year off from the game, which wasn't exactly in the plan, Pye finally will be able to experience international basketball when she arrives in the city surrounded by mountains on Sept. 1.

The signing "came out of nowhere," Pye said."When I first graduated last May (2012), I had an agent, but it turned out to be a really bad situation. I didn't choose the right agent. I ended up not getting signed."

So Pye took to the Internet herself, along with some help from Chuck Correal, dad to her former teammate Emily Correal (bound for Italy).

"He played a really big part," Pye said. "He contacted a ton of teams and a ton of coaches for me, and I was doing the same thing, so it was me and him sending a ton of emails."

Pye sent along links to her YouTube videos (which we must say are quite impressive), and found the perfect situation in Bergen, which was seeking a combo guard. The coach was surprised at Pye not being signed, and she attributes that to missing part of her senior year. In addition to sitting out out three games in 2011-12, Pye started just 9 of William and Mary's 30 games. Pye played for Debbie Taylor, who was let go after the 2012-13 season.

Pye calls her senior year "disappointing" and noted she is pleased at the hiring of new Tribe coach Ed Swanson. After graduation, she remained in Williamsburg to give her access to the W&M facilities where working out and working became her life. She maintained two-a-days on her own while holding a job at the Bose store.  But she missed being part of a team, especially the bond that comes with being on the floor together.

"I missed the sisterhood," said Pye, who majored in kinesiology at W&M and plans to open her own fitness center in the future. "I'm really excited to be on a team again."

While she contacted numerous teams, she is particularly happy that she ended up signing with Gimle.

"I emailed Norway teams, Swedish teams, Italian teams, Spanish teams -- places where I'd like to spend time," said Pye, a native of the Bronx. "I'm really happy that Norway responded because I can't wait to experience that. Bergen sounds like a really interesting place. I know in the summer, there are days when the sun does not set. It stays light all the time."

As for sights, "I definitely want to see the Northern Lights," she said. "I"m excited to go to Norway for a couple of reasons. They are one of the best run countries in the world. They're socially really accepting and happy people, low crime. But it definitely will be really cold."

The Northern Lights

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