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This article is brought to you by Allan Bush at CIBC Wood Gundy Waterloo

At the start of COVID-19 in 2020, when the season was cut short, Silvana Jez chose to retire from her professional basketball career. The former TC Thunder Alumni and Ryerson Rams graduate started work for Rolex. 

“I realized that I was very unhappy working there and that something was missing, and I knew it was basketball.”

So Jez stepped back on the court and out of retirement. Two years later, with reduced COVID constraints, she is competing for Saint Savine, in Troyes, France.

The impacts of COVID continue to inspire difficulty in her pro career, however, heading into the second half of the season with a familiar coach from her former team, Limoges, Jez and her teammates intend to finish the season strong.

With a new appreciation for mental toughness, Jez strives “so that at the end of the season I can say, I gave it my all even though it might have not been the result I expected.”

For aspiring student-athletes who are interested in going pro, Jez shares that, 

“It’s always mind over matter, and at the end of the day you will only get out what you put in. Hard work, determination, discipline and persistency are key factors when it comes to personal vision and success.”

In her third year in the league, Jez shares, “I love France basketball…it definitely feels like a second home.”

While getting recruited, Jez was drawn to the connection to the coach, appreciated the location and respected their previous win-lose record. Knowing her role, she felt she “could just play free, and not have no stress behind me.”

In spite of the challenges she has undergone as professional athlete,

“I’m just happy I get the chance to play again, and do what I enjoy most. Being here with all my friends, and getting to travel and explore whenever I get a chance is very gratifying and something I always look forward too.”