Originally published November 2018

The inaugural TCL Vancouver Showcase is dishing up unusual opportunities.

The eight-team women’s basketball portion of the event tips off Thursday at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as headliners.

They’re the reigning NCAA champions. They’re also the No. 1-ranked team in the United States right now, according to the latest Associated Press poll. You don’t get many cracks to witness firsthand and up close what a team like that looks like without leaving your own town.

Notre Dame is coached by 62-year-old Muffet McGraw. She’s been running benches in the collegiate ranks since 1982-83 and at Notre Dame since 1987-88. Last year’s national championship win marked her 800th victory with the Fighting Irish.

The Showcase offers a chance to pick her brain, to get her take on where university basketball in particular, and youth sport in general, has been and where it might be headed.

Notre Dame opens the Showcase on Thursday at noon, facing the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

“I don’t know if kids have changed. It’s the parents who have changed,” McGraw said when asked to compare and contrast her early days of coaching.

“Parents today don’t want to give their child a chance to fail. The first time there’s adversity, the kids don’t know what to do. They are not able to fight through things.”

Read more at The Province 

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