OSBA Pre-Season Preview: Louis-Riel (Women)
Louis-Riel was the youngest team in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association’s (OSBA) Women’s division last year. With an eight-person roster made up almost entirely of athletes in Grades 9 and 10, the Rebelles finished the regular season with a 2-12 record. The team from Ottawa was eliminated in the first round of the OSBA playoffs after losing to Durham Elite, 79-49.
“Being the youngest team in the league last year, we made tremendous improvement in all facets of the game. This season, we should see continued improvement in overall strength and play,” commented Andre Desjardins, Head Coach of Louis-Riel.
The team will once again be led by Taylor Featherstone (5’8 PG, Ottawa) and Graciella Diba (5’5 PG, Ottawa). Featherstone is a sharpshooter who brings competitiveness and leadership to the roster. She was a member of the U17 provincial team that won silver at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Diba is a floor general who is able to drive the lane and defend. The two were the only Grade 11 players on the Rebelles’ roster last season, and they bring a summer of growth and experience that will help them lead the team again this year.
One major adjustment Louis-Riel made in the off-season was adding depth to their roster. Alexia Smith (5’10 SG, Ottawa) joined the Rebelles after previously playing for the Ottawa Nationals. Smith’s teammate, Alana Renon (5’10 SG, Ottawa), also joins her on Louis-Riel. The two players add height and depth at the wing position, while also bringing experience to the young roster.
“The OSBA is a fantastic opportunity for the athletes who desire a high performance daily training environment and a chance to compete against the best players in the province and country,” stated Desjardins.
Last year the Rebelles competed hard and, despite a losing record, the season served as a learning opportunity and a chance to develop. With a year of experience under their belt, the Rebelles look to improve their record this season and surprise several teams along the way.