A family connection
The University of Regina Cougars women’s basketball team has been busy in the off-season signing numerous highly-touted recruits that add size, strength, and talent to its already impressive roster.
The Cougars may have left the 2010-11 season disappointed, but looked at the summer as an opportunity to add even more depth to their bench. The new recruiting class is filled with local talent as well as imported players.
One such local player is Madi Docherty, a standout from Sheldon-Williams Collegiate who looks to be the potential successor to Cougars point guard Joanna Zalesiak. Although Docherty may have to wait a few years before she begins racking up the points like she did in high school, the veteran presence around her will only help improve her game.
“I decided to join the Cougars because they have always had a really strong program, and will be a strong team next year and in the years to come,” said Docherty. “Nationals is also being hosted in my second year as well, and I think being in that atmosphere will be great.”
Staying close to home was important for Docherty, as she is extremely excited for the new opportunities that are sure to come her way.
Admittedly, she is slightly nervous about the balancing act she will be forced to perform.
“I am nervous to be in school and playing basketball, because they are both huge commitments, but I think I will be able to find the right balance.” Docherty offered. “There are lots of student athletes in the same situation who are able to handle participating in a sport and going to school, so hopefully I am able to do that as well.”
Even with the stress of managing both activities looming, Docherty still manages to keep a positive attitude.
“I really just hope I meet a lot of new people, and learn as much as I can in school and while playing basketball,” she said. “I really don’t know what to expect. I am just trying not to overthink anything right now.”
Another benefit of joining the Cougars for Docherty will be the familiar faces she sees in the hall, on the court, and in the stands. Docherty will be joining former Sheldon-Williams graduates Lindsay Ledingham and Rayna Belyk. Docherty’s brother Addison, who plays for the men’s basketball team, will also be there to help show Madi the ropes.
“I hope it will help to have my brother there as support,” she said. “I know at times there can be lots of pressure within the game, so it would be nice to have him there.”
Since Docherty has chosen to stay in Regina, her family will be at every home game to cheer her on, something that means a lot to the young basketball star.
“My family will also be able to watch me, and I can have their support,” said Docherty.
Docherty may not be the biggest player on the court, standing a mere five foot six, but her talent and passion for the game make her seem seven feet tall.
Along with Docherty, the Cougars also added Kehlsie Crone, a NCAA Division 1 recruit that the Cougars were lucky to get their paws on.
Unfortunately, Crone will be unable to play for the upcoming season, as she is only eligible to put on the Cougars jersey starting in 2012.
Other notable recruits for the Cougars include Riffle Royals forward Alyssa Kajati as well as Michelle Clarke, a guard out of Westlake Village, Cali.
Although the new recruits may not be able to make an immediate impact on the court, as the only graduating player from last year’s roster was Gabrielle Gheyssen, they are sure to develop into incredible players for the Green and Gold for years to come.