Women’s Basketball: Four Recruits Commit to the Tommies for 2012-2013
Published: Monday, Apr 16, 2012
Following on their most successful season in the program’s history, the women’s basketball Tommies will add four promising recruits for the 2012-2013 season – Sam Wilson (Woodstock, NB), Erin Kelly (Saint John, NB), Danielle LeBlanc (Moncton, NB), and Carissa McTague (Rothesay, NB).
The Tommies will lose three players from this year’s ACAA champion and CCAA bronze medal winning team. Head coach Fred Connors is very pleased with the players he’s bringing in and confident the recruits will add even more depth to the roster.
Sam Wilson, a 5’7” guard, is transferring to STU from the UNB basketball program for her second year of eligibility.
“STU has a wonderful Criminology program and that made me really excited because I have always been interested in that,” she said. “I thought on top of the education, it would be great to play with my friends at STU again, who I’ve played with in the past. I've only heard great things about the basketball program and coaches at STU. I am very excited for the upcoming year.”
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Sam’s experience joining our program,” says Connors. “She has been very well coached through high school and has one year playing for UNB under her belt. She has played provincially with a large number of the players currently on our roster so the transition should be rather quick. She can score the ball and is a solid defender. She is also a solid student, which is very important to this program.”
Danielle LeBlanc is entering the Tommies’ program after playing a year of varsity soccer at Crandall University. She’s switching back into a sport she excelled at in high school, playing for both Harrison Trimble High School, where she was named female athlete of the year in grade 12, and several provincial teams.
“She’s going to add more depth to our already very solid back court,” says Connors about the guard. “She is good shooter and hard worker on the defensive end. She has good foot speed and will improve her game as she gets used to how we play. We are very excited that she is an excellent student and understands the commitment level we are looking for.”
LeBlanc is also already familiar with the team as her sister Renee is in her third-year and has established herself as a leader on the team.
Erin Kelly, a forward, comes out of St. Malachy’s High School in Saint John to join the Tommies for her rookie season.
At St. Malachy’s, the athletic forward balanced multiple sports – basketball, track and field, cross country running, volleyball and soccer – with many volunteer endeavors and an honours standing academically. She was chosen three times as athlete of the year and her hard work earned her a leadership award and renewable entrance scholarship to St. Thomas worth a total of $12,000.
“Erin is a very tough player who knows how to be physical and rebound the ball,” says Connors. “She has a very strong work ethic and really wants to be able to contribute to our success. Losing two post players, she will be looked upon to improve her offensive skills so that we can continue to be solid in the front court.”
“Erin is a very unselfish player and her personality will be a great fit moving forward. We are also again very excited to welcome another excellent student into the program.”
The six foot tall Carissa McTague joins STU out of Rothesay High School while also suiting up for several provincial teams and developing in the Centre of Excellence Training Program over her years there.
McTague brings a strong inside game as a talented rebounder at both ends of the floor. She has a consistent outside shot from the three-point line and shoots more than 80 per cent from the foul line. Her speed and quickness is exceptional for a player of her size which allows her to successfully guard perimeter players as well as posts.
"Carissa is going to be a great fit for our style of play because she is so versatile for a post player,” says Connors. “She has three-point range and can rebound the ball well, as was exhibited in her double digit rebounding game enroute to this year's AA Championship banner for Rothsay high.
“We feel Carissa is going to be able to fill the void once she gets adjusted to the way we play. What I like the most is that her mobility will allow for us to defend on the perimeter the way we like to and continue with our post defence in the same way because of her lengthy wingspan."
Connors has made it a point to attract players who excel both academically and athletically. Six Tommies were named CCAA National Scholars last season and four received conference all-star awards.