Colleen Daly played her last game as a Varsity Red a few weeks ago, but the thought of leaving the world of varsity athletics hasn't been far from her mind all season.
Those thoughts came to a head when teammate Grace Wade asked her, on one of their long bus trips, "who are you without basketball?"
"At the time I played it off like I knew exactly who I was," Daly said in her speech at the ninth annual Breakfast for Success in support of women's basketball. "But then when I got home that night I realized I don't really know who I am without this game."
Daly said she turned to one of her team's central themes to try and find an answer - toughness.
"Always look your teammate in the eye. Help your teammate up. Show strength in body langauge, and most importantly, at least in my opinion, to wake up with becoming a better basketball player every day."
The idea of toughness intimidated the 5'4" Daly at first, she admit. But once she came to understand it, she realized all those little things were completely under her control. And as she started to grapple with the notion of leaving the game which has been such an important part of her life, Daly says she began to understand that that same toughness that made her into the player that she is on the court would be with her in the transition off it.
"The answer was actually in front of me all along. Playing the game and leaving the game both require that same amount of toughness. And if toughness really is what Coach Cotter, Coach Leah and Coach Speedy say it is, then what we learned or at least what I've learned over these past four years does transfer over for the rest of our lives," Daly said.
"You have to be able to look people in the eye. You have to show strength in body language. You need to help people up when they are down. And most importantly, you need to wake up with the goal of being a better person every single day."
Watch the full speech below:
UNB women's basketball Breakfast for Success 2015. Graduating player Colleen Daly's keynote speech.