The Maritime Women’s Basketball Association is proud of numerous accomplishments, numerous accolades and the competition and administration of the league that opened in 2022.
It is incredibly proud of the league’s ability to intertwine present day players with players who have competed at various levels across the world from university to professional and have found their way back into basketball thanks to the MWBA.
‘When we talk with our players from all of our teams, one common theme keeps coming up and that’s from many of our younger players who are learning and developing from older teammates,’ said MWBA commissioner Jen McKenzie of Dartmouth, NS. ‘Many of our players who have had careers at the university or pro level get to come back and compete at a high level in our league. Those players embrace the younger players who are still competing at the university level. It’s an amazing energy.’
With that in mind, university players are in the midst of first semester break, bucking down with the books for exam period across the country.
Let’s take a spin across Canada and see what present-day MWBA players are up to with their respective schools.
Atlantic University Sport
Starting in our own backyard, the University of New Brunswick Reds are off to a torrid start in the AUS, sitting first overall with a 9-1 record as we enter the break.
There are three members of the MWBA’s Fredericton Freeze on the Reds.
Katie Butts is averaging 12.5 points per game for the Reds under head coach Erin McAleenan. She brings down 8.3 rebounds per game and is second in the conference with 33 offensive boards. Jenny Nkuah averages 4.4 points for UNB and 4.9 rebounds an outing while Kylee Speedy is at 12.4 points per game. She has a 32.6 three-point shooting percentage.
Butts and Speedy finished in the top six scoring average department in the MWBA last year.
The Reds also feature Reese Baxendale and Erin Ingalls of Saint John’s Port City Fog. Baxendale, who spent four years with University of Prince Edward Island Panthers before returning for her fifth year of eligibility with UNB, records a dozen points a game through the first portion of the season. She also adds 3.4 assists. Ingalls has burst upon the scene this year, cashing 9.4 points a game, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Two MWBA players are with the St. Francis Xavier University X-Women of Antigonish, NS, playing for head coach, Matt Spencer.
Katie Upham of the reigning MWBA Legacy Cup champion Halifax Thunder averages 9.5 points per game. She has started all eight of the X-Women’s games and pulls in 4.5 rebounds a game. Alisha McNeil of the Halifax Hornets has 1.8 points per game and records 1.5 rebounds an outing.
Hailey MacLeod of the Fog is with the Cape Breton University Capers, coached by veteran Fabian McKenzie. MacLeod scores just under 11 points a game, has a 5.9 rebound mark and 1.6 assists each game.
Grace Lancaster of the Thunder is with UPEI where she plays for head coach, Matt Gamblin. Lancaster averages 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds a game for the Panthers.
Sydney Guker-Wickie of the Thunder and Eva Widmeyer of the Hornets are with Dalhousie University Tigers and head coach, Tanya McKay. Guker-Wickie has started all nine games for the Tigers, scoring 12.6 points a game and grabbing 6.4 rebounds. Widmeyer has also started nine straight tilts, scoring 6.3 points per game.
Courtney Donaldson of the Hornets is with Saint Mary’s University Huskies and head coach, Scott Munro.
Donaldson tabs 14.0 points a game for the Huskies and dishes 2.1 assists.
Eavan McLaughlin is with Newfoundland’s Memorial University Seahawks and head coach, Mark English. Hampered by injuries, McLaughlin has appeared in four games for the ‘Hawks, averaging two points an outing.
With the Reds leading the pack, Saint Mary’s sits second at 6-2 followed by Acadia University Axewomen and its 6-3 mark. UPEI is 5-4 for fourth, Memorial fifth at 505 and Cape Breton occupies the sixth spot at 4-5. The X-Women are 2-6 and Dalhousie winless in eight outings.
Ontario University Athletics
The MWBA has two players playing for a pair of OUA powerhouses.
Port City’s Jessica Keripe is with Toronto Metropolitan University Bold, sitting at 10-0 and leading the circuit and Central Division. Keripe has 47 points in those 10 outings and is 15-for-29 in the field goal department.
Fredericton’s Allie McCarthy is with University of Ottawa Gee Gees. McCarthy and the Gee Gees lost their first game of the regular season and have rattled off nine straight to sit 9-1, leaders of the East Division. She has started all 10 Ottawa games and amassed 101 points. McCarthy is 39-for-96 in field goals and 10-for-44 from beyond the arc.
Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association
The ACAA is tight this season and MWBA players are playing key roles in the battle for first place between two Halifax schools.
Mount St. Vincent University Mystics and University of King’s College Blue Devils both sit 7-1 atop the standings.
The Mystics have Nalini Maharaj of the Lake City 56ers (formerly Windsor Edge), who is averaging 15.6 points per game under the coaching of Mark Forward. She also has 50 rebounds.
Lauren Ford of the 56ers is with the Blue Devils, starting all eight games and bringing home 6.5 points a game for head coach, Marika Williams.
Mount Allison University Mounties of Sackville are at 6-2 for head coach Tom Skabar at the break and he has two MWBA players from Port City.
Amelia Mitchell averages 17 minutes a game for the Mounties in an emerging role, scoring 5.9 points. She has garnered 39 rebounds. Grace Tilley has 10 minutes a game and scores 3.6 points and 1.4 assists.
University of New Brunswick at Saint John Seawolves and Kevin Munro also feature a pair of MWBAers including Fog players Bailey Henderson and Abby Ring-Dineen. Henderson is second in the league in offensive rebounds with 25 and she scores 11.1 points a game, averaging 26 minutes of floor time. Ring-Dineen has appeared in two UNBSJ games.
Crandall University Chargers of Moncton and head coach Allie Berry have Kylee Balser of the Moncton Mystics. The two are actually teammates during MWBA play.
Balser averages 37.2 minutes of floor time and scores 8.3 points a game.
The Seawolves are 2-7 and Crandall is 0-6 at the break.
Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association
Katherine Khorovets of the Hornets is with Humber College Hawks and head coach Ajay Sharma.
Khorovets has started all eight games for the 5-3 Hawks, sitting fifth in the West Division. She averages 23.1 minutes a game and scores 6.8 points while securing 3.6 boards a game.
Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec
Two MWBA teammates are with different teams in the RSEQ.
Emily McNeil of Bishop’s University Gaiters of Lennoxville earns 12.7 minutes per game and scored 1.7 points. She also has 10 rebounds on her resume this season for head coach, Dianna Ros.
McNeil is with the MWBA’s 56ers.
Her Lake City teammate Sydney Foran is with Montreal’s McGill University Martlets where she has 1.4 points per game, 10 rebounds and five steals at the break. Foran is coached by Rikki Bowles.
– Jessica Keripe is with Toronto Metropolitan Bold (DWinston Photo)