Australian guard Lauryn Walker will become the first-ever player from that country to suit up as a member of the UFV Cascades women’s basketball team starting in November. (Submitted)

UFV Cascades sign Australian basketball talent

Sydney native Lauryn Walker set to become first Aussie female with team

The University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball program has extended its recruiting reach across the Pacific to round out its class of 2019.

Lauryn Walker, a combo guard from Sydney, Australia, joins a recruiting class which also features B.C.-trained talents Deanna Tuchscherer, Maddy Gobeil, Jessica Parker and Nikki Cabuco.

UFV has had varsity athletes from Australia before – Wayne Jones (1999-00 and 2001-02) and James Elliott (2009-11) suited up for the UFV men’s basketball squad – but Walker will be the first from Down Under to play for Cascades women’s basketball.

“With a lot of international recruits who reach out to you, often they’re connecting with a number of universities on both sides of the border,” UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “She was one that caught our eye a little bit and we followed up, as we do with a few. It ended up being a good fit for both of us.

“I like her style of play – she can shoot the ball and finish at the rim. And once we got to know her, she seemed like a really quality person. We got to meet her mother, and it just felt like there was a good connection there.”

Walker, who stands 5’8”, is coming off a highly accomplished youth basketball career.

She has been part of the prestigious National Intensive Training Program since 2014, and represented New South Wales (NSW) on a number of occasions, participating in the Australian Basketball Championships and the National East Coast Challenge at the U16 and U18 levels.

She was also selected for the NSW D League, which brings together to top 40 athletes in their age class in the state, and was a three-time winner of the Most Outstanding Player award for her Meriden School team.

Walker is also a track and field standout – she twice ran qualification times for the Oceania Youth Championships in the 400-metre hurdles (2015 and 2016), and competed at multiple age-class national championships in the heptathlon and hurdles.

She’s a three-time medal winner at the NSW Junior Athletics Championships, winning gold in the 200m hurdles (2015, U16) and bronze in the heptathlon and 400m hurdles (2016, U17).

“Studying and playing overseas has always been a goal of mine through all of high school, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity I have at the University of the Fraser Valley,” Walker said.

“It will allow me to play at a new athletic level and compete with the best of the best, improving my game. It will also allow me to have a new cultural experience and gain a degree in the supportive environment that UFV has.”

The Cascades’ Canada West regular-season opener is Nov. 1 at the Winnipeg Wesmen, with their home opener slated for Nov. 15 vs. the UBC Okanagan Heat.

For more on the team, visit gocascades.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read