High school stars pick basketball Marauders


The start of a new year brought some post-holiday presents to Marauder women’s basketball coach Theresa Burns. Two of her top recruiting targets recently offered their pledge to don Maroon for their varsity careers.

Committing to join the McMaster program are outstanding high school prospects Jelena Mamic from St. Francis high school in St. Catharines and Lexie Spadafora from Hamilton Westdale.

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“Our team speed and defensive ability elevates immediately with the addition of these two players,” said Burns. “Jelena and Lexie both bring a passion for the game, a desire to learn and improve, and a high level of competitiveness.”
Mamic and Spadafora also bring a championship pedigree to the Marauder program.

A 5-7 point guard, Mamic powered the St. Francis Phoenix to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Double-A championship last November, after winning a provincial bronze medal in 2011.

The multiple-time Niagara region all-star is also an outstanding soccer player and won OFSAA gold in 2012 on the soccer pitch.

“My decision was based on how I felt in my own skin being at the university and when I came to visit and toured around, I felt great about it and knew that I would be happy there,” said Mamic, who was MVP of the prestigious St. Catharines Standard tournament.

“Also, I heard all positive things about the academics and athletics at McMaster, and can’t wait to play with the team and be coached by such great and knowledgeable coaches.”

A starter on the Westdale senior team since Grade 9, Spadafora was a key player, helping the Warriors win three Hamilton city championships during her high school career.

The 5-9 swing player was also one of the leading scorers for the Hamilton public school all-stars at the 2012 Hamilton Spectator All-Star Classic.

“I wanted to stay local and be close to my friends and family. They have always supported me and will be able to attend my home games,” said Spadafora, who has been on multiple medal winning teams in the Ontario Basketball Association.

“Going to McMaster just feels like a great fit for me. From a basketball, perspective it helps with the high school to university transition to be comfortable and happy with where you are.”

Along with their basketball prowess, Burns says that both Mamic and Spadafora have been exemplary academic performers over their high school careers.

“Both Lexie and Jelena are strong fundamentally and conceptually, which is a credit to their high school coaches. It’s a pleasure to welcome them into our Marauder family”