The UPEI Panthers have landed one of Nova Scotia’s best high school girls’ basketball players.
Candace Smith has committed to joining the Panthers for the 2013-14 season.
"I am very excited to be joining the Panther family," Smith said. "I feel UPEI is a great school and a perfect fit for me to accomplish both my academic and basketball goals.”
Smith is completing her Grade 12 year with the Horton Griffins and will be playing in the Colonel Gray Classic this weekend in Charlottetown. Islanders will get a chance to see her first-hand Friday at 6 p.m. against Fredericton.
The guard is looking forward to UPEI’s small class size as she pursues her arts degree while helping the university basketball team.
"Coach (Greg) Gould is building an outstanding basketball program and I want to be a part of that process," she said. "Coach and the girls were amazing when I visited during the Mickey Place Tournament. They made me feel at home and that they really cared about me and my future."
Gould is excited to add Smith, a player he has watched since she was in Grade 9, to his roster.
"I have always been impressed with her athleticism and overall skill set," he said. "She is an explosive scorer who has all the offensive tools to make her an outstanding player at the (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) level. She will have an immediate impact on our team."
Smith has played for the Nova Scotia under-15 and under-17 teams, including last year’s national silver medal winning team.
"Candace is a fierce competitor who hates to lose, which is the type of player we are looking for to help move our program to the top of the (Atlantic University Sport)," Gould said.
It is the second addition the team has announced this week. Charlottetown Rural's Jessica Patenaude committed on Monday.