A whirlwind few weeks of negotiations culminated in a first pro contract signing and a move to Germany for Roberts Creek’s Kyla Richey last month.
“It’s such a new exciting experience, I don’t really have anything else to compare it to,” Richey said. “The first week was such a whirlwind. I was being taken out for meals with the coach and staff, meeting with different sponsors, meeting the girls on the team and trying to learn their systems as fast as possible. I was thrown into practice the day after I arrived.”
Richey has several matches under her belt now and is starting to get settled in.
“I was just so incredibly excited to be playing again and I think I had a smile on my face every game,” she said. “It sounds cheesy, but after taking the summer off from Team Canada and finding a contract a bit later than I had hoped, I was just so happy to be on the court.”
Richey said the team has a few more league games ahead of them in the next few weeks and at the end of March they have pre-playoffs, where the teams ranked seven through 10 play off against each other and then the two winners from that join the top six in the final round of playoffs.
“The last round of playoffs is sometime in May, so teams just have to keep winning their playoff games in order to advance,” she said. “I’m really hoping that I can help this team make it to playoffs. We have such a strong team, even though we are currently ranked in the middle of the pack. We definitely have the ability and talent to get to playoffs and push through those first few rounds.”
Richey is staying just outside Berlin, so even though playing has been her focus, exploring Berlin, experiencing the culture and meeting new friends has also been a priority.
“I still can’t believe I’m here. I’m already into a rhythm and have connected with my teammates, so sometimes when I look around I have to remind myself that I’m actually living in Germany,” she said. “Taking a step back, it’s really crazy to think about what I’m actually doing, and I honestly just feel so blessed to be here and be part of this team and league. The support I was receiving from people at home was really tremendous, especially before I had a contract lined up. So many individuals helped me to stay positive and to continue working hard while waiting for something to come up. The community was just so supportive as a whole and I really, really appreciate that.”