The headline in today's Fredericton Daily Gleaner (behind paywall) delivers the surprising news accurately: "Colborne drops bombshell and quits V-Reds." That would be Claire Colborne, sister of Joe who was recently traded to their hometown Calgary Flames.
According to Bill Hunt's scoop, Colborne said she "was not happy with basketball and hasn't been happy for a while." Out of the blue on Thursday she requested a meeting with coach Jeff Speedy where she announced she was done, stunning Speedy. "I was caught totally off guard. I had no idea."
Colborne, a 21-year-old six-foot wing, was the AUS and CIS rookie of the year in 2010-11, but the team has struggled in the two subsequent years, especially last season when they were 2-18. Not coincidentally, all-star post and team leader Amanda Sharpe graduated in 2011 after an AUS-MVP season and the V-Reds as yet have been unable to find as able a replacement.
Colborne was fifth in the CIS in scoring in her rookie season (18.6 points per game), and third in the country in her second year (20.6 PPG) and named a 1st Team AUS All-Star. Last season her shooting dropped to 17.1 points per game.
Colborne has two years of CIS eligibility left, and could start play for another school on Oct. 24, 2014, 365 days after her last preseason game with UNB. Colborne said she would stay in school at UNB for her fourth year in the Bachelor of Recreation and Sports Studies (BRSS) program.
That is not the only headache for coach Speedy. Karlen Majcher, a 4th-year wing and bench player, is a close friend of Colborne's from Calgary and she also quit the team Thursday. Worse, his Australian recruit who is reputed to be a fine shooter, Laura Bamford-Cleland, has been hobbled with a leg or foot injury and yet to play this season.
Speedy says he will hold the door open in case Colborne changes her mind and wants to return, "but every day that goes by, that gets a little tougher. That's not a Claire thing, that's a team thing."