Fresh off their third straight appearance in the Canada West playoffs, Bisons women's basketball announced two key additions on Thursday, as Izzy Marquez and Mikayla Simon-Tucker will join the Herd for the 2020-21 season.
"We are really excited about our recruiting class — quality people," enthused Bisons head coach Michele Sung, who enters her seventh season this fall. "Both Izzy and Mikayla have worked very hard to get to the level they're at and I know they're up to the challenge of jumping to the university game.
Both come from backgrounds of great coaches that will allow us to use them in multiple roles and really complement the current group. We look forward to getting them on campus and connected with the Bisons family!"
Marquez, 17, joins Manitoba from Oak Park High School and is a touted local recruit. Named one of the top ten players in this year's MHSAA Winnipeg Sun list, Marquez is the latest in a line of former Raiders guards to continue their careers at the University of Manitoba — following soon-to-be teammates Lauren and Deidre Bartlett, along with forward Emily Johnson.
The 5'10" two-guard played provincially for Team Manitoba from 2015 to 2019. In high school ball, she was named the MVP of Oak Park junior varsity basketball in 2018, the most improved player on her varsity team in 2019, and the captain this past season.
Marquez has also found success in the classroom, having been named to Oak Park's honour roll in all four eligible years.
"I'm looking forward to continuing to further my education at a high level, as well as continuing to play basketball at the U of M with the Bisons," said Marquez. "I'm also looking forward to meeting new people as well as building relationships with the people I already know."
Simon-Tucker, 18, joins the Bisons from Father John Redmond High School in Vaughan, Ontario. At 5'11", Simon-Tucker has been adept at shifting positions — while a natural small forward, she played all five positions with Redmond Basketball from 2018 to 2020.
Previously, the four-time Honour Roll student played for Markham Elite and MUMBA Basketball from 2016 to 2018 and was named the Junior Athlete of the Year in 2016-17 and the Most Supportive Player in 2017-18.
"I am extremely thankful to all the coaches that have helped me through the years in getting where I am today," said Simon-Tucker. "I am very excited to start a new journey at the U of M and grateful for the opportunity to play at the next level. I look forward to growing as a player and a person with Coach Sung and her team's guidance."
Bisons women's basketball is coming off a 2019-20 season that saw them finish with a 9-11 record.