Nicole Vander Helm is enjoying a happy homecoming with the Simon Fraser Clan, having found a place where she can play her total game. (Varsity Letters photo by Howard Tsumura)
Feature University Women's Basketball

From Santa Clara to Simon Fraser: How a true north return helped Nicole Vander Helm re-discover her basketball joy

BURNABY — Nicole Vander Helm admits to have taken a pretty circuitous path in order to re-discover her version of basketball happiness.

The most important road trip the UBC Thunderbirds have taken this season was to Cuba over the winter break. (Photo courtesy UBC women's basketball)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Havana hoops holiday helps harvest ‘eureka’ moments, Huband’s UBC Thunderbirds grow together in time to make late-season surge

VANCOUVER — Listen to Deb Huband talk about the ever-evolving state of the youngest team she has ever coached in her 23 seasons at the helm of the UBC Thunderbirds women’s basketball program, and one phrase — ‘eureka moments’ — stands out above all the others.

Simon Fraser women's basketball brings three explosive guards to the fore as part of its 2018 recruiting class in (left to right) Sienna Lenz, Emma Kramer and Georgia Swant. (Varsity Letters photos by Howard Tsumura)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

The power of three! How SFU’s 2018 recruits Lenz, Swant & Kramer will flip the script and re-fortify depth of Clan women’s hoops

BURNABY — College basketball is filled with unexpected contingencies, the likes of which can, in the course of one offseason, drastically change the fabric of a program. Take the Simon Fraser Clan women’s basketball team as a prime example of that.

After being recruited out of tiny Single-A school Cedars Christian in Prince George, forward Kayla Gordon could leave Trinity Western as its all-time leading scorer in Canada West regular-season play. (Scott Stewart, Trinity Western athletics)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Kayla Gordon: From a coach’s intuition to her career fruition, TWU’s tiny-school recruit anchors Spartans’ hoop success

LANGLEY — You can’t realize your vision without first trusting your gut, and it was with that in mind that Cheryl Jean-Paul pondered everything about a unique package of talent she had suddenly found herself studying back in the summer of 2012.

SFU's Tia Tsang led a barrage of Clan three-point shooters on Wednesday, knocking down 6-of-8 shots from downtown in a non-conference win at the West Gym. (SFU photo by Dom Gagne)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Clan ladies cash in with ‘The Rainmaker’, three-point barrage sets new GNAC single-game record

BURNABY — Welcome to the Cult of Three.It’s long been one of the most identifiable parts of their game, but on Wednesday the three-point hoop defined the DNA of the Simon Fraser Clan women’s basketball team.When redshirt freshman guard Jessica Jones drained a trey with 2:54 remaining to put the Clan ahead 85-46 against San […]

Simon Fraser Clan freshmen guards Kendal Sands (left) and Jessica Jones have each seen their roles increased in advance of the 2017-18 GNAC opener in Anchorage. (Dom Gagne photos/SFU athletics)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Hoop script gets last-minute re-write at SFU, rookie talent Jones, Sands much more than Clan extras

BURNABY — Looking for the clearest way to illustrate just how young and how numbers-challenged the Simon Fraser Clan women’s basketball team is this season? How about the fact that when it came time for head coach Bruce Langford to pair each of his younger players with a so-called mentor player, one of the duos consisted […]

Trinity Western Spartans' women's basketball coach Cheryl Jean-Paul has put a brick-and-mortar foundation in place for Trinity Western women's basketball. (Scott Stewart/TWU athletics)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Cheryl Jean-Paul: TWU coach’s unwavering belief lifts Spartans into uncharted territory

LANGLEY — Even in more tumultuous times, her body language never wavered. The women’s basketball program at Trinity Western University has gone through some pretty tough times since Cheryl Jean-Paul took over the program in 2010

A healthy knee and an even healthier outlook have UFV Cascades' senior Shayna Litman poised for a breakthrough season. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Cascades athletics)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Shayna’s shine: Fraser Valley Cascades forward Litman gets her bounce back

ABBOTSFORD — There is an old saying which tells us that success can be measured by the height of one’s bounce after hitting the bottom. By those metrics, it would have been easy to doom Fraser Valley Cascades senior forward Shayna Litman for a university basketball career defined by its mediocrity.

Simon Fraser's trio of incoming high school recruits for 2017-18 are, clockwise from top left: Sierra Schefer, Juliana Babic and Kendal Sands. (Photos: VK Basketball, courtesy Juliana Babic and SFU athletics, Howard Tsumura-Varsity Letters)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

Clan’s Sweet 16 hoops roster opens, gives Class of ’17 recruits faster NCAA futures

BURNABY — The Simon Clan women’s basketball team, which honoured just a pair of graduating players on its Seniors Night in late February, is going to be a lot younger team than originally anticipated this coming season.