LUBLIN, POLAND—Tomorrow, USA Women’s and Men’s Deaf Basketball teams will begin their quest for a double gold medal at the World Deaf Basketball Championships in Lublin, Poland. USA Women’s Deaf Basketball team faces off Belarus at 9am (Central European Summer Time/UTC+2) in the first game of round robin play at the Mosir Sports Hall in Lublin. USA is in Group B along with Belarus, Lithuania, Greece, and Turkey.
Raven Pentz, a 5’-3” point guard from Wallkill, New York and SUNY-Old Westbury, sits down with USADSF to share her thoughts on the upcoming tournament.
USADSF: We’re glad you could take the time to chat with us. Let’s start with a bit of background and tell us how you fell in love with the game and how you got where you are today?
Pentz: I started playing competitive basketball when I was about 7. I have three older brothers and some older cousins, all boys, that all played. I always would play with them. And although I didn't receive any one-on-one coaching, I attended camps as I was growing up, especially with my high school team. And in 2014 I got my first opportunity to play with the USA Women’s Deaf National Team.
USADSF: What does your training regimen look like leading up to the World Championships this week?
Pentz: I work out about five days a week, sometimes six, and I am currently doing a 6-week program that involves lifting and agility drills that mimic game movements.
USADSF: Your basketball inspiration?
Pentz: Allen Iverson has been a big inspiration for me.
USADSF: Nobody could do a crossover like Iverson... Speaking of which, when you’re not doing crossovers and orchestrating the offense on the floor, how do you spend your time?
Pentz: I went to SUNY-Old Westbury, where I received my bachelor degree in math education, and I am now pursuing a masters in Deaf Education. In addition, I enjoy writing poems or songs in my spare time.
USADSF: What are you looking forward to most about the World Deaf Basketball Championships?
Pentz: I’m looking forward to having another opportunity to play with some great talent and people and having another chance to win the gold, while meeting new people and exploring Poland!
To follow Raven and all the action at the World Deaf Basketball Championships, follow @usadeafbasketball on Instagram and the tournament website: http://www.2019wdbc.pl/
USADSF exists to support athletes like Raven, enabling them to focus on training and representing the U.S. in national and international competition. Athletes have to raise 100% of their travel and training funds. If you would like to support these great athletes, click here to donate today! Thank you for being a part of our team!