LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western women’s basketball coach Cheryl Jean-Paul solidified an impressive 2017 recruiting class with commitments from guards Kianna Wiens (Regina, Sask.) and Tessa Needham (Port Moody, B.C.) and wing Lucy Golubic (Koprivnica, Croatia).
Jean-Paul now has six announced commitments, including guard Jenna Van Delft (Prince George, B.C.), forward/guard Simrit Bindra (Surrey, B.C.) and forward Ose Obetoh (Port Coquitlam, B.C.).
Kianna Wiens (Regina)
Wiens helps strengthen the Spartans backcourt for years to come as the Saskatchewan product comes to TWU with a strong basketball résumé that has seen her succeed at every level, from high school to provincial teams.
The 5-foot-6 Wiens, who will graduate from Regina’s Michael A. Riffel Catholic High School this year, averaged 25 points per game last year as a point guard while helping her team to a fourth place finish at the provincial championship. She has also represented Team Saskatchewan at both the U16 and U17 levels and played for the Junior Cougars in the Prairie Elite Basketball League each of the last two years.
“Kianna is an exciting, young player who brings a level of competitiveness that’s different from many others,” Jean-Paul said. “She has played in big games and in big roles at the high school, provincial team and PEBL levels in Saskatchewan and that experience will be exciting to see filter into her teammates. We know she is going to work hard this offseason to be an impact player in her first year and that’s going to make everyone around her better.”
Wiens, who plans to take general studies in her first year, said: “I am super excited about my opportunity to play basketball for Trinity Western in the fall. I know I will be pushed to a new level with this program and will learn so much from the experiences I will have there. I love the atmosphere on campus and I love what I have already experienced with the team and the coaching staff.”
Cymone Bernauer, who coached Wiens at Michael A. Riffel, said: “Kianna is a coach’s dream. As the first girl on the court and the last to leave, Kianna’s desire to be the best is evident every day. She is incredibly receptive to feedback and is a lifelong learner of the game. Her passion and intensity is contagious and she makes everyone around her better. Kianna is ready for the next level and will make an impact early in her career as a strong defensive force and a playmaker, as well as with her quick release from behind the arc. I’m excited to watcher her make her mark at the next level with the Spartans.”
Tessa Needham (Port Moody, B.C.)
Needham comes to TWU via Quest University Canada, where she spent the first four years of her post-secondary career. This past season with the Kermodes, the 5-foot-8 guard averaged 9.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
Off the court, Needham was named Quest’s Academic Athlete of the Year for 2016-17 and earned the Women’s Basketball Leadership Award. Needham, who redshirted one season at Quest due to injury, will be entering her fourth year of university eligibility this fall.
“Tessa brings a level of maturity not only to this recruiting class, but to our program in general,” Jean-Paul said. “When graduating three fifth-year athletes, you lose a lot of experience and knowledge and I think the team will really benefit from the wisdom and maturity Tessa brings to how she approaches basketball, academics and her faith. She is intentional with her approach and has learned a lot from her time at Quest. We are looking forward to her competitiveness on the court and her continued hunger to improve, and how that will move our program forward in many areas. She understands there is a learning curve for a transfer student but she has already demonstrated a willingness to listen and learn from the returnees to understand how best to benefit our team and that approach is only going to make us better.”
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to earn my Master’s while competing in the game I love for two more years,” Needham said. “TWU is a school I have wanted to attend for a long time and now, after completing my undergrad, it’s becoming a reality.”
Needham will be pursuing a master’s degree in business with a focus on not-for-profit and charitable organization management.
“Tessa Needham has a tremendous work ethic and has developed nicely during her career at Quest,” said Kermodes coach Dany Charlery. “Her mid-range game highlights her offensive skills in addition to her toughness defensively. I have no doubt Needham will embrace her opportunity at TWU and I’m looking forward to watching her compete and wishing her a fantastic experience.”
Lucy Golubic (Koprivnica, Croatia)
The 5-foot-11 Croatian comes to TWU after stints in Manitoba with both the University of Winnipeg (2014-16) and Red River College (2016-17).
Golubic, who graduated from Gimnazija “Fran Galović” High School in Croatia in 2014, is coming off a MCAC (Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference) championship season with Red River and joins the Spartans for her final two years of post-secondary eligibility.
This past season, Golubic finished third in the MCAC in points, with 11.8 per game, and fourth in both assists, with 2.75 per game, and steals, with 2.25 per game. She also collected 4.5 rebounds per game.
While with Winnipeg, Golubic saw action in 29 games over two seasons. Beyond the basketball court, she was also was one of the Wesmen’s goalkeepers with the women’s soccer team.
“Lucy has already made an impact on our program during her brief visit in April,” Jean-Paul said. “Future teammates and support staff recognized her maturity and her willingness to be a servant leader right away on court, in the weight room and especially off the court. Those qualities reflect the person that she is. She has the ability to enable others to play at their best and has a strong desire to help our program achieve its best. She is prepared to play whatever role it takes for that to happen.
“We are so excited to welcome her to an amazing educational and athletic atmosphere, where she can begin to explore the elements of sport and faith at TWU.”
Golubic, who plans to study human kinetics at TWU, said: “Ever since I first played against TWU while I was with Winnipeg, there was always something special about this team. The atmosphere around the campus is amazing, everyone is super friendly and welcoming and it’s obvious that everyone is working towards on-court and off-court progression together. TWU is a great place for me and I am looking forward to growing in my faith and bringing my experience and work ethic to the team. Attending TWU is an amazing opportunity, which I am very grateful for.”