Campus Life

Horns women's basketball adds recruits

University of Lethbridge women’s basketball head coach Erin McAleenan has announced the signing of five incoming recruits for the upcoming Canada West season.

Joining the ‘Horns for the 2013-14 season are local products Mariah Miller and Larsyn Webster, as well as Sara Simovic (Nanaimo, B.C.), Kendra Lee (Courtenay, B.C.) and Erin James (Calgary, Alta.).

During her first season at the helm of the Pronghorns women’s basketball program, McAleenan led the team to its first double digit win season since the 1994-95 season. The Horns will look to take steps forward with the help of this talented new crop of student-athletes.

Miller comes to the U of L after a successful high school career with the Catholic Central High School Cougars, where she was a multiple Southern Alberta High School Basketball League (SAHBL) all-star. During her senior season, Miller finished fifth in SAHBL scoring with 15.7 points per game and was named a league first team all-star. She was also a second team all-star in her grade 11 season.

At 5’10”, Miller will also provide some versatility for the ‘Horns with her ability to play both guard and forward and enters her collegiate career with elite level experience with the Provincial and Canadian Centre for Performance (CP) programs. McAleenan was the head coach for the Alberta U17 team last summer for which Miller played.

A true student-athlete, Miller was on the honour roll throughout her high school career.

“We are thrilled to have the commitment of a local student-athlete such as Mariah,” says McAleenan. “Her athleticism, size and ability to shoot the ball will all be an asset to our program.”

Also named a SAHBL first team all-star last season, Webster joins the ‘Horns after being a vital member of the Cardston Cougars 4A Provincial Championship team. As the Cougars’ starting point guard, Webster averaged 11.2 points in 14 league games and was the second leading scorer for the Cougars.

“We are very happy that Larsyn will be joining our program this fall,” says McAleenan. “She is another local student-athlete with a strong work ethic and is committed to putting in the time outside of practice. Larsyn’s ability to shoot the ball and create for others are some of the strengths she adds to our program.”

Vancouver Island Provincial MVP Sara Simovic will also joins the ‘Horns backcourt this season after a stellar senior campaign at Wellington Secondary (Nanaimo, BC). After averaging 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds a game in her final high school season, Simovic played in the B.C. High School All-Star game in Langley.

She also comes to the ‘Horns with vast elite level experience as part of B.C. Provincial teams from the U14 program up to the U17 age group.

“We are very pleased to have Sara joining our program this fall; she has a high basketball IQ and is a very hard worker,” says McAleenan. “Sara’s determination to be successful will definitely add a lot to our program both on and off the court.”

Another Vancouver Island standout who is making the trip east is G.P. Vanier Secondary guard Kendra Lee. In addition to averaging 26 points per game last season, she also set a new single game points record for the Vancouver Island tournament, scoring 44 points in a game.

Lee has shown the ability to be equally successful in the classroom making the honour roll throughout high school.

“Kendra’s ability to shoot the ball will really add depth to our offense as we move to the long FIBA 3pt line this season,” says McAleenan. “She has very good basketball game sense, and is a really hard worker. Kendra demonstrates all of the qualities we look for in our student-athletes and we are thrilled that she has chosen to become a Horn.”

Bishop O’Byrne point guard Erin James rounds out the 2013-14 ‘Horns' recruiting class and will be a dynamic member of the ‘Horns back court. James co-captained her Bishop O’Byrne team to a seventh place finish at the 4A Provincial tournament, while averaging more than 10 points and assists per game.

Another solid student in the classroom, James made the honour roll in both grade 11 and 12.

“Erin is a very well-rounded young lady who brings a strong work ethic and lots of energy to our program,” says McAleenan. “Her ball-handling abilities and her court-sense make her a great addition to our backcourt.”

The ‘Horns open camp this week and see their first non-conference action during the first week of October with a three-game tournament at Queen’s University. The Canada West season kicks off the first weekend of November.