To think, that the year ahead, could be even bigger for the Chatham product, is almost hard to imagine, but it’s likely the case.
For Carleton, the experience she’s gained from her time with Canada’s top team at the FIBA AmeriCup this summer, culminating with a gold medal win over Argentina, has been invaluable, and something she’ll never forget.
“It was amazing winning gold with team Canada,” Carleton said. “Kind of surreal actually. Standing on the podium, with the gold medal and singing O’Canada is a moment I will never forget.”
Carleton however, still has plans to play a bigger role with Canada. She was the team’s youngest player this summer, and didn’t see the court in the gold medal game, a role the budding superstar has not been accustomed to, as a key component of her Iowa State team, or with Canada’s National Junior program.
“It was definitely an adjustment,” Carleton explained of her role as a support player in her first major tournament with the Senior Women’s National Team. “But again, I was the youngest player and I got the chance to learn a lot, not just this trip to Argentina, but throughout the entire summer.”
Next up for Carleton and Canada, is a trip to the FIBA World Cup, which will take place from September 22-30, 2018 in Spain. For Carleton, the goal is to return to Iowa State this year, dominate at the NCAA level, continue to improve, and to play a bigger role with Canada in Spain.
“As far as the World Cup next year, my goal is improve in some things and eventually make that roster again,” said Carelton.
For now however, Carelton has her sights set on a successful season at Iowa State.
“I’m so excited to get back to Ames (location of Iowa State), to be back with my teammates and coaches,” Carleton said. “I just want to be the best teammate and leader I can be and do whatever it takes to help our team be as successful as possible.”
According to Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly, his program is equally excited to have Carleton back.
“Bridget has made a huge impact on our program,” said Fennelly. “She is a very talented player and has set the tone for others as she is one of the hardest workers we have ever had—she is always in the gym. Bridget is truly a fan favourite and I know that she has so many great things ahead of her.”
From a high school star at John McGregor, to a member of Team Ontario, Iowa State, and now Team Canada, Carleton has continued to ascend the basketball ladder, and if the past year is any indication, the future is indeed bright for Bridget Carleton.