Family support key for female Ravens basketball players

Genavieve Melatti, left, and Maddie Turner, right, play for Carleton’s women’s Ravens basketball team and have a strong family support system behind them. Their families travel from as far as Brampton and London to watch them play. (Chris King Photo)

Whether they’re from Brampton, London or Ottawa, three sets of families always make it a priority to see their daughters in action on the Ravens basketball court.

“My dad does the five hour drive as often as he can,” says Genavieve Melatti, who’s from Brampton.

Melatti, as well as teammates Alyson Bush and Maddie Turner, have been playing basketball since early high school and they say their families have always been there to watch them play.

Even now that they play for Carleton’s women’s basketball team their families are still there for them.

“(My family) comes to a bunch of Ottawa games and will come to weekend games and watch Friday and Saturday,” says Turner, whose family lives in London.

Bush, who’s from Ottawa, says her family will also travel to away games – and her grandparents even come to games to root for her.

“It’s really special and to have their support means a lot,” she says. “I definitely like having them there, and they have been a huge support base for me.”

Turner remembers how nervous she was when she played her first game against the University of Ottawa. She had never played in front of a big crowd before and she felt comforted to know her mom and grandma were watching from the stands.

Melatti has even been surprised by her dad showing up to games when she thought he couldn’t make it.

“It’s definitely a rewarding experience playing but having family there makes it all the better,” she adds. “It’s nice to have that support system through the tough times.”

The girls’ parents insist they couldn’t imagine not attending their daughters’ games and being there when they need them.

Bush’s mom, Susan Martin, says her daughter even has support from family members in Toronto who watches the team play then they’re in southern Ontario.

“This has really let Alyson develop a special relationship with her relatives in Toronto and we have had lots of fun with them as well,” she says.

Umberto Melatti, Genavieve’s dad, says the close-knit Brampton family has even found a “home away from home” when visiting Ottawa.

When she was first accepted to Carleton, Melatti knew the family would attend most of the games but didn’t expect to go to as many as they have.

“It is a great advantage to be able to see her on the road,” he says. “We are happy that we were there for her and the team.”

Maddie’s father, Scott Turner, says it’s important to be there for moral support and recalls that one of his best memories was when the family came to see her first game.

“Being a first-year player we didn’t think she would get a lot of court time,” Turner explains. “(But) she got a lot of playing time, played well and was proud to have us there. She was beaming.”

Team coach Taffe Charles says that the transition is easier for students and players if they’re away from home for the first time and they have a strong support system behind them.

And traveling to games is quite a commitment for parents to make, he adds.

“It’s a financial commitment and a time commitment,” Charles says. “But they want to get involved in the excitement and they want to be part of it.”

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This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=9051

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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