VANCOUVER – The UBC women's basketball program is excited to announce highly sought after blue chip prospect Olivia Morgan-Cherchas has committed to play for the Thunderbirds in the fall of 2019.
The 6-foot-6 forward is currently in the midst of her grade 12 season at South Kamloops high school where she helped lead the Titans to a B.C. AA championship last spring and is looking to repeat the feat this year before moving on to post-secondary play on the Point Grey campus.
"I'm really ecstatic with the opportunity to play for the Thunderbirds", said Morgan-Cherchas. "It's also a relief to not have to weigh the decision or think about options anymore as I'm very confident in my commitment to join a great varsity athletics program at UBC. The academics that are offered really helps and of course the chance to learn and develop under such a great coach in Deb Huband, I'm excited to play for her."
The tall talent who turns 17 in early December was born in Vancouver but moved to Kamloops as a child and was first introduced to basketball as a five-year old, before becoming more engrossed in the sport through elementary school with the help of an influential teacher. Ever since, Morgan-Cherchas has played at the highest levels, earning a spot on the B.C Provincial team over the last five years from grade eight through to grade 12. Her prowess has also been recognized by her country having already played in 13 international games for Canada, beginning last summer with the U16 team and most recently as a member of the U17 squad that competed at the FIBA World Cup in Belarus this past summer.
"I think it's a huge signing and a big step for our program," said longtime T-Birds head coach Deb Huband. "Olivia is going to add a very unique element which is going to make a substantial contribution over the course of her career. She's a very versatile athlete for her size and how she manages that size, she runs the floor very well, she's got soft hands and she can change a game defensively. She's had a couple summers with Canada Basketball where she's been identified as an elite in her age group, so she's already a terrific prospect with great potential but the upside really is immense for her."
When asked to describe her game the Kamloops product implied it's no secret that she does most of her damage down low in the paint.
"I have the typical type of post player attributes," added Morgan-Cherchas. "I enjoy rebounding and I like to score just around the rim, I also enjoy setting screens and trying to be a force defensively by altering shots."
Morgan-Cherchas is leaning towards studying Kinesiology at UBC and looks forward to the challenge, reward and tradition that comes with wearing the blue and gold as a Thunderbirds student athlete come 2019.

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Photo: Stu Walters (UBC Communications)