Massey doing her talking on the court to fuel senior ambitions with Belgium
KLATOVY (Czech Republic) - Billie Massey is having a big summer for Belgium with more impressive performances at the FIBA U20 Women's European Championship helping push her goal towards the senior team.
The 19-year-old is already averaging 17.5 points and 18.5 rebounds through two games following a recent All-Star Five showing at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup in Thailand.
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Massey stepped up on the big stage to lead Belgium to a fourth place finish as they missed out on the final step on the podium with a 58-52 loss against Spain.
"It was a very nice experience to not just play against European teams, but against different styles of countries and basketball," she said.
"Obviously, we wanted a medal, and it it is nice to be recognized in the All-Star Five, but it was a shame especially being that close to a medal."
Little hesitation comes when asked about her favorite memory in a Belgium jersey as Massey recalled her triumph at the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship in Sopron two years ago - also claiming the MVP award along with the title.
The added bonus of doing so alongside her twin sister, Becky made it that much more special and they share a great relationship on and off the court, having also enjoyed success together in FIBA 3x3 competition.
"We are very supportive of each other and literally do everything together," said Billie.
"It's like a bond that you just don't have with anyone else and it's a great feeling being on the court with her, too."
Massey's basketball journey began 13 years ago in her hometown of Ostend after following her niece into the sport. Her development is picking up pace and the evidence is clear to see as she makes a strong case to step up to the next level.
"In the last few years I've taken a big step with my game," she declares. "With my defense especially and rebounding that is something I can always rely on.
Now it is my scoring that I have to work a lot on. I have to be more consistent, keep my rebounding up and find ways that I can score more."
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The Belgian Cats have captured the world of basketball with their performances in recent years and it is by no means an easy feat to break into the senior setup. But, with the prospects of heading to the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, it would be the perfect time to do so.
"It's definitely a goal of mine to be on the team," says Massey. "I like to watch players like Emma Meesseman and just to see what she does in certain situations so I can learn from that.
"The Olympics is something I've always wanted to go to - it would be nice, but we will see."
The 1.86m (6ft 1in) center set her mark on this tournament with an opening double-double before taking things even further against Hungary with an impressive 20 points and 23 rebounds in a crucial win.
Massey sat out the final group win against Belarus on Monday in order to rest ahead of the knockout stages with bigger tests to come.
"It was a weird feeling," she says on sitting out. "I would much rather be on the floor, but it is good to rest sometimes. The games will get tougher and we just need to play together for the whole game.
"When I play, I try to show leadership with my actions because I don't talk that much. I just take my responsibilities with my rebounding and try to help the team as much as possible.
"I hope we can go all the way and win the title - it would mean a lot and another gold would be immense."
Massey is on the right path to success and it might not be too long until she makes that next step. For now, the chance to produce more golden moments this week remains the primary focus.