Left to right: Deanna, Al and Julia Tuchscherer are ready for the 2021-22 Canada West women’s basketball season. Deanna enters her second full university season as Julia wades into her first. Al is the head coach of their University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. (Gibi Saini/UFV Athletics)

Left to right: Deanna, Al and Julia Tuchscherer are ready for the 2021-22 Canada West women’s basketball season. Deanna enters her second full university season as Julia wades into her first. Al is the head coach of their University of the Fraser Valley Cascades. (Gibi Saini/UFV Athletics)

Chilliwack’s Julia Tuchscherer set for Canada West debut with UFV women’s b-ball team

Julia will hit the court along with sister Deanna on a Cascades team coached by dad, Al Tuchscherer

One Tuchscherer sister was already a very good thing for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team.

Two Tuchscherers could eventually be a nightmare for Canada West foes.

Seventeen-year-old Julia Tuchscherer is set to make her Canada West debut Friday night (Oct. 29) when her Cascades host the UBC-Okanagan Heat at Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre. She’ll be joined on the court by older sister Deanna, 20, as Julia takes her first steps into university-level hoops.

“There’s definitely a little bit of nerves, but mostly excited getting to play with Deanna,” the teenager said. “That’s one of the main reasons I came here and I’m looking forward to getting on the court with her again. Playing my first game, that’s going to be fun.”

The sisters last played together when both were at G.W. Graham.

Deanna was in Grade 12 and Julia in Grade 9 when their Grizzlies made it to the AA provincial final in March of 2019, falling 70-43.

Deanna jumped to UFV that fall and had a spectacular first season that saw her win Canada West Rookie of the Year honours. Julia spent two more years at GWG, had her Grade 11 season wiped out by COVID, and decided to graduate early.

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She is uncommonly young for a university player, something her teammates never miss an opportunity to point out. They also razz Deanna, telling her that Julia is their new ‘favourite Tuchscherer.’

“That does get thrown around a lot,” Deanna said with a laugh. “And she plays into the younger sister thing where she throws a jab at me once in a while, or makes a typical little sister comment, and everyone kind of goes along with it because they find it funny for her to make fun of me.”

The Tuchscherers are fiercely competitive on the court. Even going back to high school, Julia said Deanna never gave an inch, and Julia never backs down, even at practice.

“We definitely push each other, and we get into it at times,” Deanna said. “But we’ve had conversations off the court about how that’s how we’re going to go about it, because it’s only going to make both of us better. Sometimes I give her a little much, and maybe it might have been a foul in a game, but if she can play through that she’ll be able to play through anything.”

“I’m definitely going harder against Deanna than anything else,” Julia agreed. “I think I can get away with a little more than she can too, just because I’m the younger sister.”

The third Tuchscherer in the mix is dad Al, the head coach of these Cascades who will be a proud dad on Friday.

“It’s a thrill as a parent to have the opportunity to coach your daughters,” he said. “Having both of them at practice has been a lot of fun and seeing them playing together in their first (Canada West) conference game, it’ll be a proud moment for sure.

“They’ve been running around here forever. The alumni all remember them being little girls, and they come to games now and they’re shocked. It’s a neat story for sure, and seeing them run out together Friday night, that’ll be a cool moment that I’ll never forget.”

Tip off for the game will be 6 p.m. and the Tuchscherers are back at the Envision Athletic Centre Saturday night for a 5 p.m. start against the University of Northern B.C.

Get more info at gocascades.ca/sports/womens-basketball


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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