Reid big boost to Brock’s local content
The Brock Badgers women’s basketball team has landed a big presence in the paint.
Head coach Mike Rao has announced that 6-foot-5 post Jessica Reid has transferred to Brock after spending a year redshirting at NCAA Division 2 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
“Jessica Reid is a great fit for the Brock Badgers. Her 6-foot-5 frame will allow her to be a good shot blocker and defensive stopper on our team. We are hoping Jessica will improve our overall rebounding percentages on both ends of the court,” Rao said. “Her length will make it difficult for opposing players to shoot over her. Brock will definitely benefit from having Jessica join the Badger family.”
The 18-year-old St. Catharines native found that the grass isn’t always greener on the American side of the fence.
“Things didn’t necessarily work out,” the two-time member of Team Ontario said. “It was very south and I was surrounded by people who didn’t have the same point of view that I have as a Canadian. And coaching-wise, I didn’t get along with some of their coaches and didn’t agree with some of their decisions.”
Despite spending the entire year as a redshirt, Reid doesn’t think of it as a lost year of development.
“I definitely got a lot of new skills and experience practising with those girls,” she said. “They had another 6-foot-4 girl and she was a lot bigger than me size-wise. It was always a good challenge to play against her.”
It was around Christmas when she decided to look elsewhere.
“I started looking at coming home and playing in Canada. I was shopping around for schools seeing who needed what and then I contacted Mike and he told me to call him right away.”
Brock appeals to Reid for a number of reasons.
“I love Rao and it is my home city,” she said. “To be able to play every game in front of my grandparents is obviously the best possible thing I could be doing. And they have a very good business school that I am getting into and I might explore sports management.”
Reid also explored attending Calgary and McMaster before choosing Brock.
“Hearing Rao talk about the team and his point of views on basketball and how teams should be coached made it clear that he is a great coach and I have been around Brock my entire life,” she said. “I used to go to their camps when I was eight years old and I used to watch Alex Symonds and Melissa Tatti play back when I was in high school.
“It has always been a thing that is a part of my life and now to be able to contribute to it is amazing.”
Reid was able to take part in a couple of training sessions with Rao before the pandemic shut things down. She is now taking part in online workouts with the rest of the team.
She has set high goals for her first year of Ontario University Athletics basketball.
“I want to come in and make a name for myself and get noticed by Canada Basketball,” she said. “I wasn’t here last year and I kind of fell off the map. I want to come back strong, play and work hard.”
The former Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association player with TRC Academy in Brantford, Lincoln Prep in Hamilton and Niagara Prep is a former member of Canada Basketball’s Targeted Athlete Strategy. She started high school at Governor Simcoe before going the OSBA route.
Reid feels she offers plenty to Brock’s chances moving forward after a season where it won a silver medal at the national championships.
“I am a good defensive player, I do a good job of protecting the key and using my size to my advantage,” she said. “On the offensive end, I am a true post who plays with her back to the basket, pass me the ball and I will take one dribble and make a move and lay it in.”
To take the next step as a basketball player, she wants to expand her mid-range game.
“That will allow me to be a more versatile player.”
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