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Venoit looking forward to fun final year at UNB


Port Williams basketball star Jayda Veinot will complete her university eligibilit­y with the UNB Reds this season in Fredericto­n, N.B.

“I still love basketball,” she said for a story posted to the UNB athletics department’s website. “It’s hard to pass up playing the game you love.”

Veinot played the first three seasons of her post-secondary career with her hometown Acadia Axewomen before taking the masters in applied health services research program at UNB last season.

The former Atlantic University Sport (AUS) MVP said she knew she wasn’t ready to stop playing.

“As spring came around, I found myself wanting to be playing, which made the decision pretty easy,” said Veinot. “I thought last year would be my final season, so this feels

like extra time and I’m so thankful for the chance to still be playing.”

Veinot has been among the top players in the conference and the country since she began her U Sports career in 2018.

She has been an AUS all-star

her four seasons in the conference, was named the rookie of the year in 2019 and MVP in 2022.

“It makes a big difference having a former AUS MVP returning for her final year of eligibilit­y,” said new Reds head coach Erin McAleenan. “Her level of compete and drive to win are key attributes to have in a leader. She’ll undoubtedl­y have a positive impact on our team this season, and a lasting impact on the careers of our younger student-athletes for years to come.”

McAleenan said Veinot was among her first calls after being hired.

“I felt she was pretty keen to return, having had a good year last year, and that she wanted to help take the team to the next level in her final season.”

With 1,269 career points, Veinot sits 24th on the AUS career scoring list.

Even a moderately successful 2023-24 campaign will push her into the top 10, but that’s not what she’s focused on.

“Above all, I want to have a fun final year,” said Veinot. “I think we have a talented crew this year and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together.”

Veinot and the REDS will be joined by former UPEI standout Reese Baxendale this season.

The former AUS rookie of the year and conference championsh­ip series MVP is transferri­ng to UNB to pursue an education degree.

“I’ve played against Reese since we were about 15, so it’s great to get to have her on the same side as me,” said Veinot. “She’s such a competitor. It’s been fun learning to play together so far.”

The Reds open their exhibition season by hosting the annual Helen Campbell Memorial Tournament, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Laval, Nipissing and Saint Mary’s will take part. UNB opens the regular season on the road, at St. F.X., on Oct. 27.

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