The Junior Heat club basketball program at UBC Okanagan, only a couple of years old, is already paying dividends in developing players for the University, as Heather Semeniuk has received a commitment from Julia Reichert.
A 6’2” post from Princeton, B.C., Julia played for Bobby Mitchell’s U17 Junior Heat team last summer and has been a standout in her basketball career since she began playing the sport in her Grade 8 year.
What started out as an interest in volleyball soon turned into a love for basketball for Reichert, who credits a basketball camp in the summer of 2008 as being the turning point in her athletic career. “After two days [of the camp], I knew basketball was going to be my new favourite sport,” says Reichert.
Not only a high-school star, Julia has played on regional and provincial teams that include the Kelowna regional team, as well as the B.C. Provincial B team. Last summer, Julia was a standout on the Junior Heat team, grabbing the attention of Heat head coach Heather Semeniuk.
Reichert characterizes herself as a strong defensive player who “hopes to bring a strong, positive, and progressive addition” to the Heat, which will be especially important with the departure of fifth-year post Roslyn Huber.
However, Julia is no stranger to scoring either. The Princeton Secondary School graduate has had multiple 30-point games in her high-school career, including one game in which she scored a career-high 32 points.
Along with her talent on the basketball court, Julia is also a strong student, having consistently been on the Honour Roll during her time in school, while posting an 87% average in her Grade 12 year. She hopes to work towards a degree in either Sociology or Psychology at UBC Okanagan, with “the hopes of working with kids in the future.”
When asked about what she is looking forward to in her first season with the Heat, Julia says she is “really looking forward to being coached at the CIS level by Heather Semeniuk, as well as getting to know all the girls on the team.” Excited about what is to come in her first season in Canada West, Reichert also admitted she is “a little nervous too.”
Head coach Heather Semeniuk sees a bright future for Julia at UBC Okanagan. “She brings a huge component to the team at 6’2”,” said Semeniuk. “Coming from a single A program, there will undoubtedly be adjustments for her to make, but she loves to compete and does not like losing. I’m expecting Julia to have an impact early.”
Reichert and Calgary native Shenelle Tamminen are the first two recruits enlisted to help fill the more than 1500 minutes logged last season by the three graduating players, Roz Huber, Madison Kaneda and Melissa Irish.