Athletes of the Week

Mitch Leger
Mitch Leger
Anne Murphy
Anne Murphy

Mitch Leger
Men’s basketball

Third-year forward Mitch Leger had a great weekend for the men’s basketball team, putting up 26 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s 72-67 win over Waterloo Friday night and adding another 26 points and 10 rebounds in their 97-84 loss to Laurier Saturday. Leger said his impressive personal numbers were no consolation for the loss, though.

“It doesn’t really matter how many points or rebounds you have,” he said. “A loss in the win-loss column is always the most important. There’s no consolation there.”

That intensity isn’t unique to this weekend. The basketball team plays one of the longest seasons of any CIS sport, beginning with pre-season games in August and concluding with the Final 8 championships in March, but Leger said he never gets tired of playing. Instead, he sees each game as a way to make his heavy off-season training worthwhile.

“With how long the season is and how important the off-season is, when you put in as much work as you do in the off season, it makes you realize that that’s what you did it all for,” he said. “It’s just kind of a waste if you don’t show up and compete in the game.”

Leger said the off season work on the court and in the weight room can be intense, but its intensity varies based on how much work each player wants to put into training.

“We have gym sessions in the weeknights where the coaches are there and we all get to do scrimmages and just work on our skills,” he said. “We do some testing and stuff, but from there, it’s just a matter of how much you care and how much time you want to put in in the gym and in the weight room.”

Leger said he wants to look into pursuing a professional career, potentially in Europe, after his time at Queen’s ends.

“Obviously, I’ll see where I am then. But if I can work hard enough and get to a point where I’d have a chance, then I’d love to keep playing basketball.”

—Andrew Bucholtz

Anne Murphy
Women’s basketball

Fifth-year basketball forward Anne Murphy is coming off an exceptional performance on Saturday night against the Laurier Golden Hawks. Murphy played 34 minutes, sinking 12 of 14 free throws, picking up 13 rebounds and notching 22 points as the Gaels sailed to an 89-69 home win.

Murphy first got into basketball at the age of 12, after being influenced by her sport-mad brother and father to get into a sport.

“My brother and dad were into sports, so they initiated me into them,” she said. “When I was 12 I wanted to go to a basketball camp but girls weren’t allowed, so I saw an ad for the [Ontario Basketball Association] and signed up for that.”

Although basketball wasn’t the only sport she ever played, Murphy said that after she picked it up, she made it her main activity.

“In elementary school I played everything. In high school, I played volleyball and did track and field, but my focus was on basketball,” she said.

As for her plans for the distant future, Murphy said she’d like to teach and coach.

“I would love to teach for a while at least,” she said. “I really like coaching so I could see myself doing that for a long time too.”

Head coach Dave Wilson said having a player with Murphy’s experience is valuable for the team.

“It’s huge, especially in light of the fact that she’s the only fifth year,” he said. “She provides stability and knowledge that other players don’t have.”

Wilson said as captain, Murphy takes on a teaching role a coach couldn’t fill.

“A lot of the learning that happens is done on the floor,” he said. “Anne has acquired a lot of knowledge over the years in her playing experience and her program, which she passes along. Frankly, it’s faster to pass knowledge on the floor than from the coaches.”

—Amrit Ahluwalia

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