The Niagara College Knights have added a little Fire and a Trailblazer in preparation for the 2015-16 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s basketball season.
Oakville native Marina Painco is the latest recruit to join the Knights in their resurgent campaign which has seen them go 22-14 during the past two seasons. From March 3-5, 2016, Niagara College will be host to the OCAA women’s basketball championship. Painco most recently competed as a key member of the Iroquois Ridge High School Trailblazers and the Flamborough Fire. Her basketball resume includes a U.S. Amateur Athletic Union Team MVP award, a senior girls high school MVP award, and multiple team captain selections.
“Teamwork is something that is very important to me. After meeting Coach (Mike) Beccaria and the rest of the team, I felt that at Niagara I could grow as an individual and a player” said Painco in a meet and greet at the Niagara College Welland campus athletic centre.
The Knights return the majority of their roster from the 2014-15 season.
“Marina is a great addition at the guard position for our program” said Beccaria. “She has a high basketball IQ, is a good athlete, is incredibly self-motivated, and has worked hard on her game over the last two years to the point where she has the potential to come in and contribute right away.”
Beccaria has been pursuing the five-foot-seven Painco for the last two years.
“We first saw her early in her grade 11 year,” said Beccaria. “She can really shoot the ball, she’s strong, and has the potential to be a highly effective shooting guard at the OCAA level.”
Painco will enroll in the Niagara College two-year police foundations program and has aspirations of continuing her education in the field of criminology. “I felt that attending Niagara College and playing for the Knights was the best fit for me right now” added Painco. “I’m really looking to excel academically, while having the opportunity to continue to grow as a player and providing leadership to the women’s basketball team.”
Painco and her teammates open their 2015-16 season Oct. 24 when the team travels to Sudbury for a pair of weekend games against the Cambrian Golden Shield.