Opting for a net of a different kind

[attach]1503[/attach]After winning the city championships in basketball, Dana Chiang has her sights on a badminton title at East York CI.

Once the basketball season was done, Chiang was looking for a competitive outlet to stay in shape.

She decided that badminton would be perfect for her.

“It’s a fun sport and it’s good exercise,” she said. “It will help keep me in shape for when I start to play basketball again.
“By playing badminton I am able to work on my agility and eye-hand coordination.”

But there’s trouble in paradise. One of the problems the Goliaths badminton program has is student participation. Chiang hopes that will change.

“It’s really fun to come out here and play a sport,” she said. “Even if you’re not as good as some of the other players the more you keep at it the more you will improve.”

Chiang’s coach Stacey Ganogiannis-Reid has nicknamed her the pitbull.

“She doesn’t quit,” she said. “Dana could play all four quarters in a basketball game because she needs that competitive outlet.”

Since Chiang started playing under Ganogiannis-Reid’s tutelage, she has grown as an athlete.

“She is the type of player that I would like to have on any team because she has all the tools you look for in an athlete and she also has a very positive attitude,” Ganogiannis-Reid said. “Dana is the first one at practice. She is always there setting up the nets, getting out the rackets and birdies and she is the last one to leave.”

Besides the competition, Chiang said she was surprised by the camaraderie among competitors.

“It’s really fun to get out and meet other people from other schools,” she said, admitting she wants to continue playing throughout high school. “Plus my badminton coach also coaches me in basketball, so we are able to work together all year.”

While Chiang isn’t comfortable talking about her strengths on the court, she admitted she’s a jack-of-all-trades.

“I think I am pretty well rounded in the sport,” she said. “I have a pretty decent backhand and a good smash.

“I think playing basketball has really helped me develop as a badminton player because of my footwork that I have been able to bring over from my other sports.”

Two aspects of her game that she does need to work on are communication and positioning while she is playing doubles.

“We just try to keep the court balanced and if I go one way, my partner will go the other way,” Chiang said. “It will come around once we continue working together.”