Sports

Singh signs with Cascades

Jaslyen Singh (right) of the W.J. Mouat Hawks drives to the hoop during the provincial AAA championship game against the Claremont Spartans. - John Morrow file photo
Jaslyen Singh (right) of the W.J. Mouat Hawks drives to the hoop during the provincial AAA championship game against the Claremont Spartans.
— image credit: John Morrow file photo

Talking to Jaslyen Singh, it quickly becomes apparent that she's not one to rest on her laurels.

And her laurels, to be clear, would make a pretty comfy cushion at this point.

Last month, the senior guard helped the W.J. Mouat Hawks earn the first B.C. high school AAA basketball crown in school history, earning first team all-star honours along the way.

Last week, she finalized a scholarship with her hometown university program, the Fraser Valley Cascades.

But when asked how she thinks her skill set will translate from high school to Canadian University Sport (CIS) competition, Singh picks her game apart in merciless fashion.

"I can't say I'm coming in with tons of skill – I have a lot of work to do, because the CIS is a totally different level," she said.

"I've got to work on my ball-handling quite a bit. My shooting is decent, but I've got to work on it to bring it to the next level. Honestly, I can't say I'm bringing much, except maybe leadership. I've got a lot of work to do."

If it sounds like Singh is being overly hard on herself, it also illustrates her deep thirst to improve as an athlete, and the passion she has to put in the necessary effort.

That's a big part of what drew Al Tuchscherer to Singh. The UFV women's basketball coach was very familiar with the 17-year-old's game – she's been a member of the Junior Cascades developmental program the past four summers.

"We needed to add depth at that position, and we think Jas is a good one, for sure," Tuchscherer said. "She had a great senior year."

The necessity of signing Singh became apparent to Tuchscherer over the second half of the season, as second-year guards Tessa Hart and Alexa McCarthy battled injuries.

Hart dealt with a painful case of patella tendonitis that seriously curtailed her practice time and may cause her to redshirt the 2011-12 season to fully heal. McCarthy had surgery on both knees two weeks ago, and her status for next season is similarly uncertain.

Singh joins what figures to a high-impact recruiting class for the Cascades. Her Mouat teammates Kayli Sartori and Katie Brink signed with UFV last summer, after their Grade 11 year. Sartori, the MVP of AAA provincials, is as good a recruit as there is in Canada West.

Tuchscherer has also landed Sydney Schepikoff, an athletic small forward out of Langley's Brookswood Secondary, and sharpshooting guard Lauren Sollero from Centennial Secondary in Coquitlam.

It all bodes well for an up-and-coming UFV team that's coming off a first-round playoff upset of the Winnipeg Wesmen, and trips to the Canada West Final Four and the CIS East Regional.

"We've got tons of potential," Singh said. "All of us are going to grow so much as players."

SINGH SHINES AT ALL-STAR GAME

Singh's performance at the B.C. high school all-star game last Saturday illustrated her upside. She earned player of the game honours for Team Beauchamp in a 92-75 loss to Team Thompson.

She was one of eight locals to participate in the all-star festivities. Abby Christian's Viv Veerman had a big game for Team Beauchamp, scoring a team-high 14 points, while Sartori and Brink were members of the victorious squad coached by Mouat's Paula Thompson.

In the boys game, UFV-bound Yale senior Jordan Blackman scored a game-high 22 points and was named player of the game after leading Team Goulet to a 93-81 win over Team Eberhardt.

Yale's Nakai Luyken and Mouat's Gurminder Kang and Sunny Johal were also named to the all-star rosters.

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