The defending 2020 NIAC Women's Basketball Champions scored another big addition for their 2020-21 roster this week, with the commitment of 5'10 St. James Collegiate guard Briana Ehrmantraut.
Often playing point guard on offense and guarding their opponent's biggest post player defensively, Ehrmantraut's senior year at St. James marked the most successful year for the Jimmies in over 13 years. The West Winnipeg high school finished first in WWAC Tier 2, defeating high-powered Westwood Collegiate in the quarterfinals and topping rivals John Taylor Collegiate in the 2020 Championship after a remarkable 12-0 campaign.
Ehrmantraut received the MHSAA's Athlete of the Week honours after the Jimmies closed out their perfect regular season with back to back wins. In the two contests, the St. James guard scored 35 and 40 points respectively, finishing her Grade 12 year with a points per game average above 30.
"Briana is a strong, all-around player who can play any position on the court," said Ehrmantraut's high school head coach Ashley van Aggelen. "She has been a varsity player at St. James since Grade 9. Briana is someone who leads by example on the court and everyone on her team looks up to her. Her high classroom IQ translates right onto the court."
On top of her basketball abilities, Ehrmantraut was a dominant high school athlete in track and field, soccer, badminton, cross-country and captained the Jimmies on the volleyball court. She also competed for St. James in team handball where she led the Manitoba High School league in scoring across all handball classifications and went on to help Team Manitoba to a bronze medal at the Canadian Handball National Championships.
"We are extremely happy that Briana has chosen CMU to continue her basketball and academic path," said Blazers' head coach Joe di Curzio. "Briana is an excellent athlete that excels in many sports but absolutely shines on the basketball court. She is athletic and skilled enough to play in all five positions. On top of that, Briana is an exceptionally high-achieving student in the classroom, averaging above 90%. Her versatility, athletic ability and very high academic achievement will fit extremely well in the CMU culture in basketball and the classroom."
NIAC administrators met earlier this week to discuss the current state of affairs concerning Covid-19 and the effects the pandemic could have on the planned 2020-21 regular season as it relates specifically to cross-border travel for league competitions. Critical dates for final decisions as well as contingency planning were also on the agenda, however, no firm decisions regarding the schedule and possible start dates have been officially announced.