A SAD Greta Tamasauskaite went to her final training session with the St Vincent’s Secondary School first-year students with a heavy heart.
She got a huge surprise though when all the girls from the three teams were there to meet her with the principal James Deane, coach Dommie Mullins and staff of the school. She was greeted by all the players and presented with gifts for all her hard work for the year.
Greta, who played professional basketball with Singleton SuperValu Brunell this year, was also assistant coach to the school this year as a link-up agreement with the club.
James and Dommie then made speeches along with school captain Lauryn Homan to Greta and presented gifts to her ahead of her upcoming wedding in July as a thank you for the superb job with all the girls.
“I am really lost for words today as this is one of the nicest things that was done for me in all of my basketball career," said Greta.
"I really didn’t know what to expect, when I was told that I would be helping out coaching in this school when I came to play with Brunell. However, it was the best experience of my time in Ireland and an experience that I will never forget, as I was treated like one of the family which put me at ease right away.
"Whenever I came in to practice, and was down Molly (Blount) and Emily (Peyton) would get me up and do some Irish dancing, and it cheered me up right away. So I would like to thank Dommie, the staff and all the girls for making me feel so welcome."
“Greta slotted straight into her role in St Vincent’s," explained Deane.
"It was very apparent that Greta a great rapport with the students immediately. She was a great role model on and off the court to all the students and was a great support to Dommie as he was recovering from major hip surgery. She will be greatly missed by all the St Vincent’s family, and we wish her the very best for the future.”
Coach Mullins added: "When Greta came to St Vincent’s, for the first few weeks she was very shy and quiet. As time went by she started to become more comfortable and got more involved with the kids.
"She then developed a great relationship with all the kids, and it was then I could see she was going to be a great asset to the school.
"Greta was one of the best shooters of the basketball that I have seen in years, and she passed her all those skills to the players. She definitely left her mark with all at St Vincent’s, and will be sadly missed by all.”
Lauryn Homan spoke on behalf of the young players.
“Greta was a great role model, and we were delighted to have someone of Greta’s experience and quality assisting Dommie this year. She was very motivational, and for me personally, I would have loved to have played with a player of Greta’s calibre.”