MacEachern a member of N.S. Canada Games team
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Lauren MacEachern of Amherst will be a member of the Nova Scotia women’s basketball team that’s going to the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que. next month.
AMHERST – Lauren MacEachern has dreamed of competing at the Canada Games since she started playing basketball competitively several years ago.
MacEachern will get that wish next month when she heads to Sherbrooke, Que. as a member of Nova Scotia’s women’s basketball team.
“It’s really exciting, Coming from a small town it only adds to the experience,” said MacEachern, who was a key member of the ARHS Vikettes’ Division 2 championship team in the spring. “I’ve learned a lot already just being part of the team. It’s really challenging playing against bigger and stronger girls.”
The 17-year-old Amherst resident was one of approximately 40 young woman across Nova Scotia to begin tryouts with the club just after Christmas. She made it through the cuts and was thrilled to learn that she’s one of 12 players to make the squad. She’s the only player from northern Nova Scotia to make the team that also includes two from Cape Breton, one from Hantsport and eight from Halifax.
Going into Grade 12, MacEachern hopes to some day study physiotherapy and is hoping her play at the Canada Games will garner the attention of college and university recruiters.
“I’m hoping some of the coaches there will notice me. I’d love to continue playing basketball after high school at the college or university level,” she said.
She said playing in the development program at age 15 as well as with the Amherst Explosion girl’s program helped her prepare for the Canada Games tryouts. She said high school basketball is good, but it’s not the same caliber as the development program.
While she’s not sure what to expect at the national competition, MacEachern said a coach with the development team told her it was the best experience she ever had.
To prepare for the Canada Games, the team has been busy practicing and has participated in one tournament. The club is at the Bluenose tournament in Halifax this weekend and will take part in Summer Fest in Saint John before departing for Sherbrooke.
She’s hoping the club will be able to improve on its seventh-place showing in Prince Edward Island in 2009.
“We’re not a big team, but we work hard and I’m hoping that should help us,” she said. “We’ll have a good chance if we work together as a team.”
ARHS Vikettes’ coach Gillian Ellis said having MacEachern on the Canada Games team is a boost to the basketball program at the high school.
“It’s a credit to the quality of the program but also to her abilities,” said Ellis. “We’ve got a good group of basketball players on the female side of it and she’s at the top of it. The thing that’s great that as good as she is she always put team first.”
Ellis believes MacEachern will do very well at the Canada Games and feels she can be a role model for others from small communities.
“She’s exposed herself to elite basketball and coaches have taken notice,” Ellis said.