Spartans land pair of top recruits
Christmas came early for the Trinity Western Spartans.
The women's basketball team announced the commitments of forward Kayla Gordon and guard Jenna Bracken on Dec. 10. This marks coach Cheryl Jean-Paul's two earliest signings since she took the job in 2010.
Bracken, who attends Strathcona Christian Academy, is a 5-foot-11 shooting guard. She helped her school place fourth at the 2012 AA provincial championship, averaging 16 points per game, as well as helping Team Alberta place seventh at the national championships.
"She brings in a gritty mindset and a very competitive attitude, yet she never compromises who she is as a person," said Jean-Paul.
"For me, TWU has always been my dream school," Bracken said.
"It had everything I wanted: a Christian education, an amazing location and the chance to play at the CIS level.
"I'm very excited to become a Spartan."
"She is extremely athletic, runs the floor well and works hard every time she steps on the court," said Strathcona Christian coach Michelle Anderson.
Gordon, a 5-foot-11 forward at Cedars Christian in Prince George, has been a dominant presence on the court for several years.
She has also played on Team B.C. every year since making it on the U14 squad.
Last year, she helped the U17 team win third at the Canadian national championships, earning second team all-star honours after averaging 11.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
At the high school level, she helped Cedars Christian win silver at both the 2011 and 2012 Single A provincial championships. She was a first team all-star at both tournaments.
"Playing with the Basketball BC provincial teams has really brought out her ability to stand out and define herself as an athlete who has a lot of potential to be a significant player at the next level," said Jean-Paul.
"She played with determination and a competitiveness that will truly help her succeed at the next level," said Shaun McGuinness, who coached the U17 provincial team.
"Kayla demonstrated an outstanding work ethic coupled with a real commitment to improve.
"Through her dedication, she has developed a good skill package that no doubt will continue to grow as she competes in the CIS."