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Devon Lawlor excited to carry on family tradition at UPEI

Devon Lawlor will play basketball for the UPEI Panthers in the fall.
Devon Lawlor will play basketball for the UPEI Panthers in the fall. - Jason Malloy
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Lawlors like basketball and they like playing for UPEI.

Devon will be the latest in the Lawlor’s deep-rooted family tradition of playing hoops that began before the Charlottetown university was founded more than 50 years ago.

Devon Lawlor was a key contributor to the Charlottetown Rural Raiders girls' basketball team for three seasons.
Devon Lawlor was a key contributor to the Charlottetown Rural Raiders girls' basketball team for three seasons.

“My parents, aunt and uncle and grandfather all playing there was a big part of my decision because they all had great experiences there,” she said.

The Charlottetown Rural Raiders graduate is excited to wear the green and white Panthers jersey for the first time this fall, noting it will be the culmination of years of hard work.

“I’ll feel really proud, knowing that my family played there and wore those jerseys,” she said. “It was always a dream of mine to play for them, knowing that my parents played there, and they always talked about fond memories of (their time there).”

Her grandfather, Ed, played for the Saints of Saint Dunstan’s, which merged with the Prince of Wales College to form UPEI in 1969. Her aunt Cathy (Lawlor) Reid played five years as a Panther and uncle Steven Lawlor wore the green and white for two seasons.

Her parents, Peter and Stephanie (Shive) Lawlor, each played five seasons with the Panthers. Peter, Steven and Cathy are siblings. Peter and Steven played together for two seasons at UPEI while Cathy and Stephanie were teammates for a pair of campaigns.

Lawlor remembers playing basketball in kindergarten and cheering on the Panthers through elementary school.

“When I was younger, my parents would take us to the games, and it was always really exciting to watch,” she said, noting the team’s loyal fan base and the great atmosphere inside in the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre. “UPEI was my first choice just because it’s so close to home and my family and everything … it was like a no-brainer for me.”

The 18-year-old Millcove native, who will study biology at UPEI, started talking with Panthers’ head coach Matt Gamblin in September and watched intently as the Panthers went on a remarkable run that included an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship and a bronze-medal performance at the U Sports national championship. The talented squad can return mostly intact with the exception of graduates Kimeshia Henry and Annabelle Charron.

“They have a lot of experience and they know what it takes to win, so I was really excited to be a part of that and to be able to learn from them,” Lawlor said.

She has previously played on provincial or high school teams with current Panthers Lexi MacInnis and Sydney Whitlock.

“It was kind of comforting to know I could go into a team with some familiar faces.”

Gamblin had the chance to work with Lawlor during various camps since he took over the program in 2018.

“I’ve been very impressed with her work ethic and drive to get better,” he said in a release. “Devon has improved a lot throughout her high school career and will adjust well to the increased competition of the AUS and her teammates every day in practice.”

Charlottetown Rural Raiders' guard Devon Lawlor brings the ball up the court in the Prince Edward Island School Athletic Association senior AAA girls basketball final against the Three Oaks Axewomen in March at Holland College.
Charlottetown Rural Raiders' guard Devon Lawlor brings the ball up the court in the Prince Edward Island School Athletic Association senior AAA girls basketball final against the Three Oaks Axewomen in March at Holland College.

Lawlor played a key role in helping the Raiders win three straight Prince Edward Island School Athletic Association senior AAA girls’ basketball banners. She was named the MVP at this year’s tournament that concluded March 12, the night many sports were halted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic. She had a game-high 20 points in the final versus Three Oaks.

“I like to attack the basket, which usually creates opportunities for teammates, and I can also hit that outside shot as well. I work really hard and I’m very competitive.”


A look at a pair of new additions for the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team for the 2020-21 Atlantic University Sport season.

Devon Lawlor

  • Age, hometown – 18-year-old Millcove native.
  • Size, position – Five-foot-eight guard.
  • High school team – Charlottetown Rural Raiders.
  • Lawlor said: “They’re such a strong team with strong players, so it’s really exciting to know that I’ll be able to practise with them and be able to learn from them every day.”


Alicia Bowering

  • Age, hometown – 18-year-old Orangeville, Ont.
  • Size, position – Five-foot-eight guard.
  • High school team – Orangeville Bears.
  • Club squad – Tri-County Soldier.
  • Head coach Matt Gamblin said: “Alicia has a strong work ethic and a drive to improve, which are two of the most important qualities we look for in student-athletes. … She will be able to come in and use her athleticism to make an impact on the defensive end from Day 1.”
  • Bowering said: “I’m an unselfish player that looks to penetrate and create plays and open looks for my teammates. … I also have the ability to step outside and shoot the three-ball.”

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