T-Birds women’s basketball program welcomes Lee and Spotton

Diana Lee

VANCOUVER – UBC women’s basketball head coach Deb Huband has assembled an impressive class of new recruits for the upcoming 2014-15 season, made up of two NCAA Division I transfers who will make an impact for the Thunderbirds right away.
Guard Diana Lee of North Vancouver, B.C. and forward Kara Spotton, who was born in Belleville, Ont., are the two players who will be returning to Canada.
“Both Diana and Kara bring a high degree of basketball skill, competitive drive and leadership both on and off the court,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “Through their careers they have benefited from stints with Canada Basketball, experience with international basketball and a number of years training and competing in NCAA Division I.
“We are very excited to have two players of such skill and character join our program. We know that they will be an exciting addition to our team and will immediately add depth, talent and leadership to propel us towards our goal of excelling in Canada West and the CIS. They are multi-faceted individuals who have the potential to excel on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
Lee’s return will reunite one of the greatest duos to ever play high school basketball in BC. As the star point guard with North Vancouver’s Handsworth Secondary, Lee teamed with current T-Bird shooting guard Kris Young to lead the Royals to back-to-back ‘AAA’ provincial championships in 2009 and 2010.
“There were so many factors that lead me to UBC,” remarked Lee. “I think the biggest one for me was that I could be home in Vancouver and would be able to have some familiar faces in the crowd. On top of that, UBC is a great school with a competitive group of girls and I think it’s a great fit for me.  It’s a new chapter and I’m excited for my next two years as a T-Bird.
“Kris was also a big factor in my decision.  Getting the opportunity to play with her again was something I felt I couldn’t pass up. Hopefully our on court connection is just as strong as it was at Handsworth. She’s had a great career and I can’t wait to play with not only someone of her calibre, but also one of my closest friends.” 
After graduation, Lee played basketball at Boise State University, an NCAA Div. I school in Idaho that competes in the Mountain West Conference.
Lee started 27 of 30 games during her rookie season in 2010-11, recording 3.1 assists per appearance to lead the Broncos. She was also fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 6.6 points.
The next year, Lee was second on the Boise St. roster with 67 assists in 31 games, 13 of which she started.
Lee’s third year was her best as she started all 21 games for the Broncos, dishing out 4.6 assists per outing. However, Lee’s season was cut short because of a back injury, which kept her out of the Boise St. lineup for the entire 2013-14 campaign.
She is expected to be healthy for the upcoming season after surgery in February. Lee will be pursuing a Masters in Kinesiology after completing a Social Sciences degree from BSU.
Spotton, who played at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, faced Lee on several occasions as both played on squads belonging to the same conference. Like Lee, she redshirted this past season.
The 6-2 forward started eight games, and played in 30 in all, as a true freshman during the 2011-12 season and averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds a game.
In her sophomore year, Spotton registered 5.0 points and 2.6 rebounds a game in 26 appearances, which included five starts.
She made her international debut last summer as a member of the 2013 Canadian Development Team that participated in the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. Spotton played four games and averaged 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 points a game.
“I really loved the chemistry of the team when I came to visit,” said Spotton. “I also could see that UBC has an extensive history under Deb. She’s a great coach and her past records show it. The rest of the staff is also very supportive and I think that under them I will be able to really improve my game.
“I also love the school and the area. Overall, I think UBC is a really good fit for me both athletically and academically.”
Lee and Spotton join a UBC program that finished last season with a 22-10 overall record.

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