The 5’9” guard came on early in the second quarter of her side’s FIBA EuroBasket Women qualifier against Sweden and attacked the basket to get a three-point play.
Then on the following possession, the Leicester Riders standout took a charge on Sweden’s Louice Halvarsson, which resulted in a score for Holly Winterburn at the other end.
It was a key highlight of the game for Great Britain, but they ultimately fell to a narrow 64-62 defeat to Sweden.
A good start on your debut. However, being caught up in the moment meant that it was a blur for Ashby.
“The first minutes are always going to be pretty hectic,” she said.
“I got the adrenaline rushing, and coming in having never played for the national team before was pretty huge for me, and I just went in and did what was asked of me, and I was glad I could contribute.”
It turned out to be Ashby’s sole contribution on the points front, but it didn’t reflect on her overall performance, including those plays you don’t see on the stat sheet.
Every coach loves that.
Especially GB coach Chema Buceta, who was proud of Ashby, especially given that the first game as a national team player is usually the hardest.
“She did well because it’s not easy to play your first game,” Buceta said.
“Even big players, when they play for the first time, they can collapse, but it wasn’t the case for Sam; she [attacked] the basket, she played great defence, and she did a good job.”
Ashby added: “That first step onto the court and that feeling of succeeding and doing what I know I can do is huge.
“In the moment and at a time like this, it’s so easy to make mistakes that you wouldn’t normally make, but I was glad that I did what I know I am capable of.”
Ashby – along with the GB team – now travel to Estonia in preparation for Sunday’s FIBA Women’s EuroBasket qualifier. For details on how to watch, click the link here.