November 15, 2007
Pepperdine women’s basketball player Miranda Ayim had a very different summer than most other college students. Ayim was selected as a member of the Canadian National Under-21 and Under-19 teams. She participated in two world championships, one in Russia and the other in Slovakia. The U-21 team finished sixth in Russia and the U-19 team was ninth in Slovakia. Ayim, who hails from London, Ontario, Canada, is studying public relations at Pepperdine and is in her sophomore year. She hasn’t ruled out playing for the Canadian Olympic women’s basketball team one day.
How did you become a member of the Canadian National Team?
I’ve been involved with the National teams for the past few years. Basically, I have to return to Canada and try out each year.
Does Canada choose their Olympic team members from the National Teams?
Yes, there are quite a few different levels of National Teams. Unfortunately, this year Canada did not qualify for the Olympics in women’s basketball.
Since Canada will not be participating in the 2008 Olympics, what will the National Teams do this summer?
The focus will be on training and finding other teams to play.
Will you return to Canada to play this summer?
Actually, I’m considering participating in the overseas study program that Pepperdine offers.
Did your playing experience this summer impact how you play now?
It really gave more confidence and I learned a lot having played at such a high level and with and against the caliber of athlete that played in the World Games.
You’re majoring in public relations at Pepperdine. What are your career aspirations?
I’m really not sure. My father was a radio broadcaster and a weatherman for a local television station. I haven’t really figured out what I want to do yet.
Tell me what brought you to Pepperdine.
I knew I wanted to go to college in the United States. I actually hadn’t heard of Pepperdine until they contacted me. It was important to me that it was an academically focused school and I liked how supportive the coaches and team seemed to be.
Has it been as you’d imagined an American university to be?
Well, I like football, but UCLA and USC are so close and I really like the academic setting at Pepperdine. There are plenty of things to do and they’re not that far away.
Were your parents okay with you going to college so far from home?
My dad was fine with it, but my mom wanted me closer to home. It’s all worked out and she knows I have a lot of support here.
Your Pepperdine basketball team is well known for the community service you do. Can you tell me about that?
We have a tournament Thanksgiving weekend, Time Out 4 HIV/AIDS awareness. On Thanksgiving Day we have practice and then we go to Los Angeles and help feed the homeless. We also did a walk to raise money for cancer research.
How difficult is it being an athlete on a team that travels as much as basketball does and maintaining your grades at such an academic institution?
It’s really a matter of time management. There are some things you have to plan ahead for, like writing a paper. You can do reading and other things on the road, but you have to realize your limitations and make time earlier in the week to get your work done.
Do you enjoy the traveling?
I really do. It’s a great time to spend with my teammates and really get to know them off the court. There’s always something crazy going on.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from being a Pepperdine athlete?
Time management, team dynamics, cooperation and being selfless.