Chilliwack’s Deana Tuchscherer will share the court with an Australian import when the U-Sports women’s basketball season tips off this fall.
The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades have added Sydney product Lauryn Walker, who will be the first Australian to ever play for the UFV women’s b-ball team.
“With a lot of international recruits who reach out to you, often they’re connecting with a number of universities on both sides of the border,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “She was one that caught our eye a little bit and we followed up, as we do with a few. It ended up being a good fit for both of us.
“I like her style of play – she can shoot the ball and finish at the rim. And once we got to know her, she seemed like a really quality person. We got to meet her mother, and it just felt like there was a good connection there.”
Walker is a five-foot-eight combo guard coming off a highly accomplished youth basketball career. She’s been part of the prestigious National Intensive Training Program since 2014, and represented New South Wales (NSW) on a number of occasions, participating in the Australian Basketball Championships and the National East Coast Challenge at the U-16 and U-18 levels.
She was also selected for the NSW D League, which brings together to top 40 athletes in their age class in the state, and was a three-time winner of the Most Outstanding Player award for her Meriden School team.
Walker is also a track and field standout, specializing in hurdles.
“Studying and playing overseas has always been a goal of mine through all of high school, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity I have at the University of the Fraser Valley,” Walker said. “It will allow me to play at a new athletic level and compete with the best of the best, improving my game.
“As soon as I had my first Skype call (with UFV) I knew that there was something really special about this place and I am really excited to be under the guidance of Coach Al. He is such humble and talented coach and has created such a family within the Cascades. I feel it is going to be a very valuable experience that will benefit my basketball and allow me to be a part of a beautiful community. I am really looking forward to being a Cascade.”
UFV’s Canada West regular-season opener is Nov. 1 at the Winnipeg Wesmen, with their home opener slated for Nov. 15 vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat.