Solid con­trib­u­tor

Riverview’s Jen­nifer New­man com­mits to the Pan­thers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JASON MAL­LOY www.gopan­thersgo.ca

One of Greg Gould’s for­mer play­ers is com­ing to play for him again at UPEI.

The univer­sity an­nounced Mon­day, Riverview High School grad­u­ate Jen­nifer New­man has com­mit­ted to the Pan­thers women’s bas­ket­ball team for the fall. Gould coached New­man when she was in Grade 10 in New Brunswick.

He said the five-foot-10 for­ward is a good shooter, de­fender and re­bounder, who works hard, is a good stu­dent and per­son. He called her an un­selfish com­peti­tor who wants to win.

“I think she’s got the whole pack­age,” Gould said. “I think she’s go­ing to be a solid con­trib­u­tor for the four or five years she’s here.”

New­man was Riverview’s MVP last sea­son and a New Brunswick In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion all-star. She was a key mem­ber of Bas­ket­ball New Brunswick’s un­der-15 and - 17 teams.

“I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing hard, learn­ing and de­vel­op­ing into the best player pos­si­ble,” said New­man, who will study ki­ne­si­ol­ogy.

“I be­lieve UPEI will also be a great fit for me aca­dem­i­cally. The small classes with easy ac­cess to my in­struc­tors will help me to ex­cel.”

On the court, Gould said he thinks New­man can con­trib­ute right away.

It will be im­por­tant be­cause the Pan­thers will look a lot dif­fer­ent from the team that lost the At­lantic Univer­sity Sport (AUS) fi­nal to Saint Mary’s last year.

Jenna Jones, Danielle Mac­Don­ald, Amy Gough, Laura Power, Julie Hatcher and Darcy Zinck played their fi­nal year of el­i­gi­bil­ity, grad­u­ated or are in­jured and un­able to play. There is also a pos­si­bil­ity other play­ers won’t re­turn.

“It’s go­ing to be a new-look team,” Gould said.

And the vet­eran bench boss is a month into his sec­ond term with the Pan­thers af­ter re­plac­ing Mark English, who re­signed to take the women’s head coach­ing po­si­tion at Me­mo­rial. By this time in the year, most play­ers have al­ready com­mit­ted to a univer­sity for the fall, but Gould said he is still search­ing to add play­ers.

“We feel pretty for­tu­nate to get some­one of (New­man’s) cal­i­bre com­ing at this late in the re­cruit­ing process,” he said. “We’re work­ing hard to try and re­cruit some other play­ers, and also try­ing to re­cruit for the fol­low­ing year.”

The coach said there are high school grad­u­ates com­ing to UPEI who could try out in Septem­ber.

Gould said most of the peo­ple who were on his staff two years ago have com­mit­ted to re­turn­ing. He still wants to talk with some of last year’s as­sis­tants to see if they are in­ter­ested in re­turn­ing as well.

JASON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

UPEI Pan­thers women’s bas­ket­ball coach Greg Gould, left, had new re­cruit Jen­nifer New­man in the gym Mon­day for a shootaround.

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