There are more challenges you can count for a coach starting a new program and that rings true for Nipissing Lakers women’s basketball head coach Marg Jones, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t planning on success.  Jones has been hard at work, on the road and working the phones trying to find the right group of student-athletes that will make up the first ever Lakers women’s team.

Jones is happy to announce that guard Preslie Cross and Stacey Brookshaw have signed with the Lakers and will be part of the inaugural season, 2014-15.

Jones said she’s excited to bring in these two student-athletes because she knows they’ll perform on the court and be strong ambassadors for the program off of it.

“Both Preslie and Stacey are the quality of student-athlete that I am looking to bring to Nipissing. They demonstrate the skills and leadership on the court and the academic integrity in the classroom that will define the Lakers Women’s basketball program,” Jones said. “The quality of coaching that both of these girls have been exposed to in their high school and club careers has readied them for the next step to CIS basketball. They both recognize the challenges that lay ahead for them, and are excited and committed to doing the work required to build a competitive program.” 

Cross, a Winnipeg, Man. native, is coming off a city championship she won with her high school team, Glenlawn Collegiate, and is now in search of a provincial title.

“I am very excited to become a Laker and represent Nipissing in the OUA and I am thrilled to be a part of the first team ever. I think it is an honour to become a part of Nipissing’s first Women’s basketball team and I look forward to the opportunity,” Cross, who will be majoring in anthropology, said. “I am a high energy player who brings a positive attitude and strong work ethic to the team. I spend many hours in the gym trying to improve my skills and gamer play. I like to play an up tempo running game and I love to play tough defense. I bring leadership and team spirit to the team.”  

Cross has impressive experience as she was a provincial finalist in Grade 9 at the AAAA level with Glenlawn, as well as a junior varsity champion in Grade 10 and provincial finalist once again in Grade 11.

She is also a member of the Winnipeg Wolves Basketball Club, (coached by former national team point guard Martin Riley) the Manitoba Centre of Performance, was a Junior Bison Basketball Club team member from Grade 8 to 10 and will be playing for Manitoba at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina, Sask. coming up in July.

“As a high school recruit I know I will face a learning curve in terms of adjusting to the physical style of play in the OUA and CIS. I plan to work hard until season starts getting stronger and more fit so I can contribute to the team,” she said. “As a first year team we may face some challenging moments but I expect us to be competitive with the other OUA women’s basketball teams.” 

Cross is joined by Brookshaw who is a five-time Stratford Central Secondary School athletics MVP, thanks to averaging 15 points and five assists per game during her time there.

“Being part of the first ever Lakers women’s basketball team is such an honour. An opportunity like this doesn’t come around very often and I’m so excited to be a part of it,” Brookshaw said of signing with the Lakers. “I look forward to learning and building my skills as an all-around player. We have a challenge ahead of us entering the CIS and OUA, but I could not be more excited to take the challenge on.”

She was also named to the Huron Perth All-Star team three consecutive years, on top of playing for the Stratford Revolution where she claimed a U17 provincial silver medal and a U19 provincial bronze medal.
Brookshaw just earned a gold medal at the 2014 London 86ers Tournament and received the all-around tournament all-star with the Revolution.

She received a letter from the USA Junior Nationals Basketball selection committee to compete in the 2014 USA Junior Nationals Michigan/ Canada All- State regional basketball preliminary.

“As a player I will bring a lot of vision of the court to the Lakers team. I can fit into a number of styles of plays and hope to create opportunities for my teammates and myself,” Brookshaw said, describing herself as a player. “Having the support of my team and trust in my team on and off the court is something I know being a Laker will bring and is so important to be successful.”

Both players come to the Lakers with a solid basketball background and a high skill level that is going to make the program instantly credible and give Jones some weapons to use to be successful right off the hope.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach Stacey and Preslie moving forward. From our very first contact I knew that they were two young women that would be a perfect fit for our program and I welcome them to our Lakers Women’s Basketball Team.”

Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...