Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Hamilton, ON, lived in Buffalo for 4 years during post-secondary, and currently live in Toronto. Since I was young, I had the dream of playing basketball for Canada, at the collegiate level, and eventually at the professional level. I grew up playing both soccer and basketball but always knew basketball was my first passion. I was blessed to represent Canada for the first time in 2016 and continue to compete for our country until 2020. My experience with Canada Basketball included winning the first-ever Bronze at a World Championships, as well as competing in the Pan American Games in 2019.
I received a scholarship to attend the University at Buffalo, where I played on the WBB team for 4 years. My collegiate basketball career included a Sweet 16 appearance, round of 32 appearances, along with a conference title. Throughout my college career, I became a big advocate for mental health in sports, aspiring to use my platform as a Division 1 student-athlete to normalize & break down the stigma of Mental Illness surrounding sports culture. I graduated in 2021, with a degree in Psychology, and Minors in Nutrition, as well as Non-Profit Leadership.
Following the pandemic, I decided to step away from playing and explore the basketball industry, while continuing to be an advocate in any way I can. I was the Business
Operations Assistant at Canada Basketball for a year and have recently transitioned to working with a few other NP Basketball organizations in the GTA.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
As mentioned above, I am a big advocate for Mental Health in sport, and specifically using my platform as an athlete to normalize the conversation around mental health, while empowering the athlete’s voice. In the NCAA, we are currently facing a mental health crisis as well as high gender inequality between men’s & women’s sports, both of which have become important issues to me. My experiences within the NCAA and growing up as a female in sport has opened my eyes to the systemic issues that exist in and around this organization.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
Parents, coaches, mentors, and teachers, all play a critical role in changing the narrative around mental health in sports (and in general of course). I always say that the only way to normalize the conversation is to have the conversation. To reach out, to ask, to shed light on individuals who you may suspect are struggling. The more we turn away from these issues and prioritize athlete performance over a person’s health and wellness, the harder this conversation becomes for people. Being aware of the language used in and around sports is also a critical step to improving this issue. The approach and reaction to people opening up about their mental health are both key.
What is your favourite leadership quote?
To this day, my favourite leadership quote is by famous research professor, author, and public speaker, Brené Brown.
This quote follows: “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
There are countless individuals who have inspired my journey but I always encourage people to follow, listen to, and learn from Brené Brown. This incredible woman teaches lessons that can be applied in all areas of life. She speaks on the power of vulnerability, courage, leadership, and self-love. I would highly recommend any of her books as each of them contain different life-changing lessons and perspectives.
Her website is: https://brenebrown.com/