Head coach Andy Sparks has recruited five players to join the Gee-Gees women’s basketball program for the upcoming season including two highly regarded Ottawa players, Julia Dostaler and Katie Murphy. The Gee-Gees will also welcome Jennifer Crowe and Isabelle Dion from the CEGEP league, and Ariane Lefevbre of North Bay.
Crowe was the team captain of the CEGEP bronze medallists from Dawson College last season in her second year with the Blues. The 5-foot-9 combo guard led the league in field goal percentage while averaging 10.4 points and 5 rebounds per game. Crowe will study in the Faculty of Engineering at uOttawa, and Sparks identifies her leadership skills as another important aspect of her game.
“We’re excited to keep our connection with Dawson College, which has brought us several quality student-athletes,” notes Sparks.
Isabelle Dion brings three seasons of experience from Champlain St. Lambert to the paint for uOttawa. Sparks says the 5-foot-11 forward, who hails from St-Bruno, Que., is, “very tough, and she tracks the ball well. She is a great athlete and will be a key for our rebounding.” Dion, who will study commerce at the Telfer School of Management, was a top five rebounder in the league last season, pulling down 8.6 per game.
From North Bay, the Gee-Gees welcome Ariane Lefebvre, a 5-foot-5 point guard who was named that city’s top female athlete in 2013. The multi-sport athlete won gold at the OBA championships with her North Bay Spartans club team, and also brought her single A Algonquin high school squad to two NOSSA crowns and an OFSAA silver. On the track, she has captured accolades at the 200-metre and 400-metre distances. Lefebvre, who will study health sciences, has impressed Sparks in early workout sessions. “She sets the plate, finds people in traffic, and she can shoot it.”
Local standout Julia Dostaler also brings her shooting skills to the Gee-Gees. The Louis-Riel product is known as a talented offensive player from the wing, and has some familiarity with her new teammates; she overlapped with Kellie Ring and Catherine Traer on Rebelles teams. Sparks says the 5-10 guard likes to play up-tempo, and passes well.
Dostaler is joined by her Ottawa Nationals club teammate Katie Murphy. Murphy was the Nationals’ captain this past season, and will study commerce at uOttawa after graduating from Stittsville’s Sacred Heart High School. The combo guard has proven to be an intelligent player with good court vision. “She plays composed,” says Sparks, “and she has the potential to develop into a solid two-way guard.”
“We’ll be very competitive at the two and three spots,” admits the head coach, who saw the growth of first years Danielle Marion and Sarah Besselink on the wing last season.
The Gee-Gees preseason schedule is expected to begin in August against NCAA competition. An announcement to confirm the dates and opponents will be available shortly.