SYDNEY (AP) — Everything happens for a reason.

Last year I didn’t make the U.S. Olympic roster and I used that as motivation. Falling down always provides motivation for me. So all season long last year, I used that to elevate my game and it paid off with a WNBA championship in Chicago.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t defend our title, but there wasn’t much time to dwell on it. After we lost, I had 24 hours to pack up my house and then flew home to Philadelphia. A short stop there before heading to San Francisco to meet the team before they came to Sydney.

There wasn’t a lot of time to pack for this trip, but I had to make sure that I had my Crocs with me.

My birthday was last month and my Chicago Sky family took care of me getting me an awesome pair of Crocs with Jibbitz that fit my personality. There’s SpongeBob, Drake, my birthdate, and hot sauce on them. I don’t go anywhere without the hot sauce. Not to mention my nickname KFC and my number 2.

Once in Sydney we started practice and there was a quick turnaround to learn plays. There wasn’t much time, but you figure things out. As a pro, you have to. Fast forward to this week when I’m waiting to go into the room for my five-minute meeting to see whether I’ll be on the World Cup roster.

I admit I was anxious and a feeling a little bit nervous. After all, this is the big time. I remembered what happened last year when I didn’t make it, but I went into this meeting with my head up and prayed for the best.

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There was immediate relief and a feeling of gratefulness and reward when they told me I made the team and that now I’m part of the U.S. roster that’s competing for the World Cup.

Now it’s time to focus on trying to win a gold medal. I like Cheryl (Reeve). She’s a competitor — which is no surprise since she’s a Virgo. She’s a winner and wants to do whatever it takes to win.

There’s 12 great players on this team and everyone’s working hard, doing what they are supposed to do. You know that there other greats waiting to come in after you.

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Chicago Sky star Kahleah Copper is playing on her first World Cup team for the U.S. and is periodically checking in from Sydney.