The Canadian Mennonite University Women's Basketball program have announced a number of new recruits it has added to its program for the 2014-15 season.  Joining the Blzers for this fall will be Garden City Collegiate’s Jessica Larabie and Scotia Stewner along with Jasmine Bhullar, Shannon Boyd and Tianna Mighty of the Miles Macdonell Buckeyes.

Stewner, the 5’9″guard-forward recently completed her high school career with the Gophers earning herself recognition as a 2014 Graduating All-Star.  “Scotia brings a lot of talent to the program,” said Head Coach Joe Di Curzio, “she is an extremely well-rounded basketball player.  She can play inside or on the perimeter, she has a great outside shot and can also take it to the basket.”  Stewner represented Winnipeg in the 2012 Manitoba Summer Games in Swan River and has captained her high school team in her Grade 12 year.“Defensively she can defend inside or perimeter players,” added Di Curzio, “I am really looking forward to working with Scotia because she has the terrific attitude of wanting to get better all the time.”

Garden City Collegiate point guard Jessica Larabie is averaging 15-plus points and 5 assists per game in her graduating year with the Fighting Gophers in the always competitive MHSAA ‘AAAA’ KPAC division.  “Jessica brings us natural scoring ability,” says head coach Joe Di Curzio, who is just completing his first season at the helm of the Women’s Basketball Program, “She is an awesome three-point shooter and she is just as comfortable taking the ball to the hoop.”  Larabie is averaging 3-plus baskets from long-range this season, and continues to develop this part of her game. “She is an extremely hard worker who is very dedicated to improving her game, plus she has a very high basketball IQ”, Di Curzio adds.  Larabie has led the Fighting Gophers to consecutive KPAC Finals since 2011 and was selected as an MHSAA ‘AAAA’ All-Star in her grade 11 year.

The Buckeye trio have been playing together since 2009 when they were recruited together to join the Junior Buckeyes of the Winnipeg Minor Basketball Rising Stars League and are excited to continue their chemistry on and off the court next season at CMU.

A 5’5 wing, Bhullar was selected Player of the Game earlier this season at the St. Vital Classic and prides herself on her defensive ability and transition play. “Jasmine has extremely high basketball IQ,” says CMU Head Coach Joe Di Curzio, “she has a terrific outside shot and is an excellent playmaker as well as having an outstanding work ethic.  Jasmine excels on the basketball court and in the classroom. This combination will make her an excellent addition to our program.”

A 5’11 post, Boyd earned recognition as the Player of the Game at the Sisler High School Tournament and is strong on both ends of the court as a defender, rebounder and inside scorer. “Shannon brings us great defensive tenacity, a terrific rebounder and she can play inside or on the perimeter,” explains Di Curzio, “she is also a top student who has worked hard for this opportunity.  We are excited about having Shannon join our program and working with her in the years to come.”

A 5’9 wing, Mighty is a vital presence on the defensive end of the court. Selected Top Defensive Player at the 2014 Redman Invitational in Calgary earlier this year, it is common for Mighty to create 8-10 steals per game with her length and athleticism, helping support the Buckeyes transition-style, fast-break offense. “Tianna is one of the best defensive players in high school basketball this year, “said Di Curzio, “she has extreme quickness and can really get to the basket in a hurry.  She will bring extensive experience to our team, having played on many club programs in Manitoba.  Her work ethic is absolutely terrific.”"

The Buckeye Trio join an already young and athletic group of returnees who are committed to bringing an exciting, fast-paced style of basketball to the Loewen next season.

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