The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball program is pleased to introduce its first two Class of 2017 recruits: forwards Arsh Gill and Katelyn Mallette.
Gill is a rangy forward with a passion for rebounding – she averaged 15 points and 18 boards during her Grade 11 year with the Panorama Ridge Thunder.
She helped the Thunder to a provincial AAA tournament berth last season where they posted a 2-2 record, and the team appears poised for more great things in 2017. Panorama Ridge is currently ranked No. 5 in the province, and won the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Basketball Classic last weekend with Gill earning a spot in the Dream Team 15 all-stars.
Gill, who will study business at UFV, chose the Cascades because it was “an opportunity I wouldn’t get anywhere else.”
“I know that I’ll fit into this team,” she explained. “It’s a great coaching staff, I love all the coaches here, and when I came for my visit I really enjoyed the environment. It was really welcoming, and it felt like this was going to be home for the next five years.”
“Arsh is very long, and she changes a lot of shots defensively,” Tuchscherer said. “She’s a tough competitor, rebounds the ball well, and has a really nice touch from the perimeter.”
Mallette helped the Langley Christian Lightning win back-to-back B.C. Single A titles, earning second team provincial all-star honours in Grade 10 and a first team nod in Grade 11. The Lightning have moved up to AA this season, and Mallette and Co. have thrived in the higher tier – they’re currently No. 3 in the provincial rankings, and notched a noteworthy fourth-place finish at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in December against a field of elite AAA programs.
Mallette also excels at volleyball, and was part of the Langley Christian squad which won silver at the AA provincials in early December. On the basketball court, she’s a prodigious shot-blocker whose shooting range extends to the three-point line. She chose the Cascades because she “felt at home with the team.”
“I watched their practices and there was a real community feel, a family feel,” she said. “I also liked how competitive it is here, and Al’s a great coach. The campus and university are amazing, and I’m really excited.”
“Katelyn’s a post who has a lot of athleticism, and she has the potential to stretch to the four (power forward spot) for us,” Tuchscherer said. “She has some range in her game, she can get up and down the floor, and her future is very bright.”