New Zealand not far from Timmins' heart spoke with freshman forward Sam Timmins, who was rattled hard by the loss to Yale Sunday but rattled even more by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake earlier this week in Christchurch, New Zealand - four hours from his home town of Dunedin.

What did you think of your first game? “I was super excited. I’ve been waiting since last December to get on the court. It was a really fun experience for me finally getting on the court in a game that mattered and being able to contribute on the court as opposed to in practice like I was towards the end of last season. I enjoyed it.”

What did you learn from the game? “Just the speed of the game, not necessarily physically because coach Shapiro did a great job with us preseason with the conditioning to help us physically for the challenge, but mentally something you can’t really prepare for. I just kind of needed to get reps at it because you need to be able to process how fast everything is happening. You have to keep track of where your man is and where the ball is and where you need to be and when. I had gotten used to it at the speed it was in high school bask home. Now I have to do that at college here and that’s a whole other level. The more reps I get at that the easier it’s going to come. That’s probably the  biggest adjustment I’ve had to make so far.”

On the earthquake in New Zealand “I’ve obviously my last year in New Zealand was spent in Christchurch and that’s where we went when we went to New Zealand and that was the epicenter. It was a 7.8 earthquake, but because of 2011 Christchurch has since earthquake proffer the city and it was a lot less casualties and people physically effected. There was still a lot of damage to the land and buildings and stuff. No one I knew personally was affected. I was asking other people just trying to reach out to as many people as I could to make sure everybody was okay and no one was too badly hurt. That’s lucky but it’s still scary that stuff is happening while I’m so far away from home.”

Is tracking down a guy to box out part of the learning experience? “It’s all part of I reference back to what I’m used to from New Zealand. We never played the style of defense we have here where we’re sitting so far off our man when the ball is on the other side of the court. usually I’m just standing about where my man is so I can just turn and there he is. When we have to be over in help when  the shot comes up and having the presence of mind to first look where your man is, find him, box him out, and go get the rebound. It will come. Just the same thing with reps and mentally adjusting.”

Is three point shooting in your arsenal? “I tell coach it is. Primarl=ily I want to be on the block and the post during that physical stuff. I work on it so if the opportunity arises and there’s a defensive lap and I’m wide open on the three that I’m able to at a decent rate - I’m not looking to shoot it all the time - but if I’m there I want to work on it so it’s a possibility. Any way I can help stretch the floor on offense.”

Do you talk with other athletes from New Zealand at UW? “Yeah for sure. Always. See one of them on campus and say hello. Ask both of them once I heard about the news (about the earthquake) If their family was alright or if they knew anyone that was affected. Being from New Zealand it’s like an instant kind of friendship, especially when we’re away from the country like this. Yeah, definitely.” Top Stories