Women's hoops: The mother of all recruiting coups

Understatement of the year: Lakehead's press release announcing its incoming women's basketball recruits is a little out of the ordinary.

Darnellia Russell, a one-time phenom point guard in Washington state, now a 24-year-old mother of two with WNBA aspirations (the league requires players to have a degree), has signed with the Thunderwolves for the upcoming season.
"Without question, she'll be the only 24-year-old athlete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport to have been featured in a dozen or more major U.S. newspapers (such as The Seattle Times and The Washington Post), on television (Spike and ESPN), online (with Bill Maher) and at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, where The Heart of the Game garnered glowing reviews for chronicling Russell's plight, pluck and perseverance." -- Allan Maki, globesports.com

Please click through and read Maki's piece; cutting-and-pasting one paragraph doesn't really seem to Russell's story justice. Lakehead SID Mike Aylward, according to the article, took it upon himself to initiate contact with Russell. Most sports information directors in Canada regularly go beyond the call of duty, but actually starting the recruiting process is something else.

Lakehead was 9-13 and missed the playoffs in the OUA West last season, but who knows, maybe they'll make be able the division a little more interesting next winter (Thanks goes to Dale Stevens for the link.)

Road to glory passes through Lakehead (Allan Maki, globesports.com)
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  1. That's quite the story. I bet Queen's isn't looking forward to playing Lakehead next year, but I'll definitely be watching with interest.

  2. Good on Mr. Maki, who once again rocked the Thunder Bay angle. The copydesk missed one bit, though: the article refers to Russell's coach simply as "Bill" (graf 7). Is that a first name or last name? Was Bill Maher her coach? (Now there's your story.)