Weinert late addition to Brock women’s squad
Mike Rao continues to lead a charmed life.
The Brock women’s basketball coach and the reigning Ontario University Athletics and USPORTS coach of the year has reaped a bountiful harvest of excellent recruits and transfers to his program in the time since Brock won a national silver medal in 2019.
His latest excellent pickup is former Eden star Madalyn Weinert. The former Juel Prep First Team all-star and All-Defensive Team member, who won back-to-back Juel player of the week honours before the 2019-209 season was cancelled after five weekends of action because of the COVID-19 pandemic, had committed to McMaster in February of this year before a last-minute change of heart landed her on Rao’s doorstep.
Weinert declined an interview with BP Sports Niagara about her decision to come to Brock stating she wanted to focus on making the team and fitting in with the Brock players who have been training hard all summer.
“I am so thankful for the Brock community, including the admissions and enrolment department, the team, the coaching staff for how they gathered around me,” the St. Catharines resident said. “I am very appreciative.”
Rao is thrilled to land the talented teen.
“We are good at guard now but it’s a big score for us,” he said. “I like her effort. She is relentless, a good defender and she has some good athletic moves going to the basket.”
Rao likes her mental game as well.
“The other part of it is she is really smart. She picks things up quickly and she is going to be a student of the game. As far as fitting in to what we do, she is going to catch on quick because she is really smart.”
Weinert has been on Rao’s radar since he took over the team prior to the start of the 2018-19 season. Her name was prominently displayed on a whiteboard in his office for months on end.
“I recruited her from the first day I came in and saw her and she has been at the top of my board for well over two years,” he said. “I liked her demeanour and I liked the way she spoke. I could tell that she knew the game of basketball, she wanted to play hard, she really enjoyed it and you could see in her play the love of the game come through. She’s a gym rat.”
Rao watched Weinert play and practise countless times and was disappointed when she initially chose Mac.
“We did pull out all the stops but we fell short for whatever reason,” he said. “But you never count your chickens before they hatch.”