Local talent stays home

Recruit shuns NCAA offers, picks Queen’s

Mulholland (centre) looks to be a vital part of the women’s basketball team in 2016  and onward.
Mulholland (centre) looks to be a vital part of the women’s basketball team in 2016 and onward.
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It isn’t often that top-tier Canadian athletes stay at home to pursue their dreams, but Bridget Mulholland hopes to change the mold.

With offers from Villanova, Seaton Hall, Indiana and Virginia Tech — to name a few — many expected Mulholland to go to the NCAA. But the local basketball player has decided to pursue her university career at Queen’s. 

Going into her final year at Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School, Mulholland is hoping to build off her three Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association championships (KASSA).

While she’s only in high school, Mulholland racked up an impressive resume. This past summer, she was the captain of team Ontario at the National Championships. Behind her leadership, the team would go undefeated in round robin play, and eventually win the tournament. For her efforts, she was selected as a first team all-star.

She’s also the winner of the OBA Hazel Miner award, which is awarded to female athletes for upholding the finest qualities of sport in their pursuit of athletic excellence.

Despite all the accolades, Mulholland keeps focused on her work ethic. 

“One of my biggest strengths is just how bad I want it,” Mulholland said. “Every single time I step on the floor I’m going out there to play my best, do my best and help my team win, and I’m going to bring that to every game I play in.”

Choosing Queen’s over her NCAA offers was heavily influenced by the family atmosphere she saw at the school. 

“Coming to a school where everyday you are surrounded by people who are going to push you, support you, and ultimately you have similar goals and you’re going to fight for them, is priceless,” Mulholland said.

“I don’t think you can ask for anything more in a school. On top of that, they are all great people, I love being around them, so I think it’s a perfect fit for me.”

Another enticing reason for the local recruit was Queen’s Kinesiology program. 

“My goal after university is to play pro,” Mulholland said. “I think that a Kin degree can help me in some aspect of my body and injuries, so I think it provides a perfect balance.”

Not looking too far into the future, Mulholland has lofty goals for her university athletic career.

“Our goals should be to win five national championships,” she said. “We definitely have the players and the coaching staff and the support staff to do it, and I think that the sky’s the limit for the program.”

For head coach David Wilson, a recruit like Bridget Mulholland doesn’t come along very often. 

“She is a kid that is committed to absolute excellence in everything she’s done,” Wilson said. “She is an unbelievable student in terms of academics, but has also committed to basketball and has been like this for a very long time — that’s why she has been able to achieve the things that she has been able to achieve at her young age.” 

“We just see this as something that is going to continue to grow going forward.”

Wilson also sees Mulholland’s impact on the women’s basketball going beyond the court. 

“She will be a very critical part of our program right from the outset, she is that good. [Mulholland] can be a player that attracts other top quality Canadian athletes to stay in Canada and hopefully stay at Queen’s.”

The women’s basketball team has recently bid on the 2017-2018 CIS Championships. For Coach Wilson to be given the green light, he needed top-tier talent.

“With a player like Bridget and the current growth in our program as it stands now, she becomes a real complement to what we are doing and what we can build to become.”

Although her career as a Gael is over a year away, Wilson has high expectations for the guard. “There is no question what her best position is on the floor and what her capabilities are,” he said.

Wilson pointed to her diverse offense skills as a major asset.

“She shoots the three extremely well, she attacks the rim extremely well. There is no question that she will be a integral part of our program from the start.”

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