Trinity Western freshman guard Shemaiah Abatayo was forced to hit the court running this season after six straight months of COVID lockdown in the Philippines kept her out of B.C. from March through August. (Photo by Mark Janzen property of Trinity Western athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

Shemaiah Abatayo: As Trinity Western’s ‘rookie’ guard preps for a hopeful 2021-22 re-start, she dishes on six months of COVID-forced lockdown in the Philippines!

LANGLEY — Shemaiah Abatayo, like the rest of Canada’s hard-luck Class of 2020 university freshmen recruits, will get a second chance to make a rookie impression when U Sports basketball courts flash their figurative green lights this coming fall.Nothing could have beaten the on-court experience that a 2020-21 Canada West season would have provided Abatayo […]

Jayden White of the Yale Lions has overcome the odds to rebound from injury and find a place next season at the University of Alberta. In Edmonton, she will play hoops, major in education and continue her studies in American Sign Language. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

Jayden White: Special signs along the way speak the truth of compassion, tenacity Yale Lions forward carries to Alberta Pandas!

ABBOTSFORD — Ask Jayden White what it means for her to have walked the walk through a star-crossed high school basketball career, and she’ll show you this photo of the inside of a Gatorade bottle cap containing the bone chips surgeons extricated from her knee back in 10th grade.“The biggest one is the size of […]

It's been tough for high school recruits in the Class of 2021 to find places on college and university teams, yet Brookswood's Quinn Jasper and Harrison Robinson of Lord Byng have landed with Douglas College and Langara respectively. (Photos property of Howard Tsumura and Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball University Women's Basketball

“They need to be really persistent…” B.C. high school Class of 2021 grads in tough to find spots on crowded university & college rosters!

VANCOUVER — What’s the toughest challenge for a talented B.C. high school basketball player looking to continue his or her career as a student-athlete this coming season at the college or university level?How about simply finding a place to play?Student-athletes from B.C.’s hard-luck Class of 2021 have not only lost their entire senior season of […]

G.W. Graham's 6-foot-2 forward Julia Tuchscherer (left) will graduate a year ahead of schedule and join her dad Al and older sister Deanna with the Fraser Valley Cascades next season. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong photography 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

Post-marked UFV: How GWG Grizzlies’ Grade 11 post Julia Tuchscherer will pivot into the paint with U Sports’ Cascades next season!

ABBOTSFORD — For about as long as Julia Tuchscherer can remember, she’s had a knack for making all of the numbers add up.She’s even done it in these challenging times, heading down the home stretch of her Grade 11 year at Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Secondary with a 4.0 grade point average within a core of […]

Simon Fraser women's head basketball coach Bruce Langford has already seen the impact of his program's recently-launched IMPACT Mentorship Program, one which has involved past and current players like (left to right) Laura van den Boogaard, Georgia Swant and Brittany Fraser. (Photo graphic by Gabriel Lynn property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Women's Basketball

A Sunday Read: SFU women’s basketball celebrates the power of connection, uniting past and present through its IMPACT mentorship program!

BURNABY — There are many variations of the parable which informs us that in learning we teach, and that in teaching we learn.Boil those words down to their essence, however, and what remains is the singular feeling of a journey coming full circle.Laura Kalenuik, née van den Boogaard, like so many other former student-athletes, has […]

Anthony Luyken and his daughter Aieisha. (Photo by Dan Kinvig property of UFV athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

The Luyken Legacy: For UFV’s father-daughter duo of Anthony & Aieisha, building community through basketball is a lifelong calling!

ABBOTSFORD — Anthony and Aieisha Luyken are a father and daughter with a most special tie to the sport of basketball.Today, Varsity Letters is happy to help share, through the efforts of one of our founding partners, the Fraser Valley Cascades, the story of their incredible, life-defining love affair with the sport and its impact […]

Sage Stobbart has carved out her niche as one of the top defenders in the Big West Conference. (Photo by Mark Honbo property of UC Davis athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

Sage Stobbart: Seycove’s former B.C. AA MVP turns her shot-blocking/three-point shooting skills into a sweet science with D1 UC Davis Aggies!

As an environmental sciences major at UC Davis, Sage Stobbart is gaining an ecological understanding that makes her feel more at home than ever in the great outdoors.Yet ask the redshirt junior forward about the other side of her life as a student-athlete, that of the agile and versatile 6-foot-3 junior forward with the Aggies’ […]

Getting her first test of professional play in the Allianz Premier XVs with London's Saracens, Sophie de Goede is climbing the world rugby ladder at age 21. (Photo by Neil Elliott property of Saracens RFC 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Rugby University Women's Basketball

A Sunday Read: The origin story of Victoria’s Sophie de Goede! At 21, Canada’s rising rugby superstar makes her mark with London’s Saracens

Last October, as she packed her rugby bags pre-flight for what was to be an extended overseas professional residency in the birthplace of her sport, Sophie de Goede made sure to leave a little room for the other half of her athletic alter-ego.“I brought my basketball shoes over, hoping that I would be able to […]

A cancelled 2020-21 U SPORTS season will wind up being the final one for UBC's Gabrielle Laguerta. (Photo by Richard Lam property of UBC athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball University Women's Basketball

UBC’s Gabrielle Laguerta: Despite her battle scars and lost senior season, ‘Birds senior celebrates the silver lining of basketball’s shared experience

VANCOUVER —As Gabrielle Laguerta has gone about playing her role in the strangest year of our lives, UBC’s fifth-year senior guard has so often felt like an actor rehearsing her lines for a Broadway production she knows  will never see the light of opening night.“I’ll come off a good practice where I’ve tried out this […]

Simon Fraser's Jessica Jones (left) joins her teammates Saturday in Steveston to help deliver fresh herring to waiting customers as part of the Fishermen Helping Kids With Cancer fundraiser. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Women's Basketball

Delivering a fine kettle of fish! Simon Fraser’s women’s basketball hits the dock of Steveston Harbour to support ‘Fishermen Helping Kids with Cancer’ cause!

BURNABY —  They were hoping to hit nothing but net when they took to their cozy West Gym court nestled high atop Burnaby Mountain this season.Yet while the global pandemic put a quick end to those aspirations for the Simon Fraser women’s basketball team, they’ve still found ways to cast their net far and wide.This […]