Basketball: Sister of '05 Vanier Cup hero to play for Laurier women

Laurier's women's basketball recruiting class includes one last name which will jump out at you:

  • Alena Luciani, 5-foot-11 forward (Oakville Holy Trinity) — You guessed it, she's the younger sister of former Laurier football stalwarts Dante and Vince Luciani (Dante made the catch on a third-and-long which helped set up the Golden Hawks' winning field goal in the 2005 Vanier vs. Saskatchewan).

    Alena Luciani did a post-graduate year at Berkshire Prep in New England, so she stands to come in a little more seasoned than the typical rookie.

  • Anna Southall-Millward, 5-11 post (Hamilton Westdale) — Laurier's press release notes that Southwall-Millward is expected to have "immediate impact." Hamilton, as you know, is the hotbed of female hoops in Ontario, and Southall-Millward's school and club teams each won provincial medals in Ontario's top divisions this season. Her Westdale Warriors lost out in the semis at quad-A OFSAA, but she helped her Blessed Sacrament club team win the OBA Division 1 gold this spring.

    (It is presumed OFSAA still gives a medal to the fourth-place team at a basketball or volleyball championship. It's one of those odd Ontario things you just accept, like having high school graduation in October.)

  • Nicole Roeder, 5-7 guard (Waterloo Collegiate/K-W Lightning) — Roeder was an intergral part of the Waterloo Vikings winning the OFSAA quad-A bronze medal last season, over Southall-Millward's team no less.

  • Aimee Van Dam, 6-foot-1 forward (Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg) — It's unclear what calibre of competition the CMU Blazers face, since colleges in Manitoba are outside the CCAA structure. However, Van Dam had a few double-doubles last winter while playing against the likes of Minot State-Bottineau, and she can block shots.
Coach Paul Falco's Golden Hawks lost out to eventual OUA champion Windsor in the second round of the playoffs. The Golden Hawks open Aug. 29 vs. the Vermont. The game will be a homecoming for Catamounts guard May Kotsopoulos, who starred at Waterloo Collegiate.
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