Heat women’s basketball coach Heather Semeniuk has once again dipped into the Argyle Secondary talent pool, with the signing of Pipers’ centre Robyn Aulin-Haynes.
Last year it was rookie sensation Claire Elliott out of Argyle who came in and made a big impact on UBC Okanagan’s improvement in Canada West. Going into this 2014-15 season the team’s lone fifth year player, Angela White, is also from North Vancouver.
Always ahead of the curve, Aulin-Haynes has competed on her school’s senior team since Grade 9 and even though she sat out this past season with an ACL injury, she still acted as team captain and was an integral part of the team dynamic.
“From a young age I was always playing with older girls,” Aulin-Haynes said of her upbringing. “I was on the senior team for basketball at Argyle in grade nine, and after some time I was able to adjust to the pace and strength of the game.” She is confident that her experiences in the past will serve her well when transitioning to the university game. “I know University will be a big jump but I am confident that I will be able to adjust and improve my game so that I can keep up with the quicker pace.”
A multiple time North Shore first team all-star with strong offensive skills, she calls herself an unselfish player with a pass-first mentality and prides herself on her court awareness and basketball IQ. At 6-foot-1, she will join the young cast of post players to add much needed depth to their frontcourt, which often has struggled against the bigger Canada West schools.
“I like to think (that) I am not a selfish player,” she said of her on-court tendencies. “If someone has a better opportunity of scoring than I do, I happily hand them the ball. I have a good game brain and read the game well.”
Other than her time spent in Pipers uniform, Aulin-Haynes played with 3D Basketball Academy, who also coached former Argyle teammate and now Heat teammate Elliott. She and Elliott have been teammates and friends since fifth grade.
Coach Semeniuk is confident in Aulin-Haynes’ ability to bounce back from her injury and make an impact down low right away.
“Robyn is a true post player with strong basketball IQ,” Semeniuk said of her recruit. “Her size and ability to rebound and finish shots around the hoop will add greatly to our inside game. She is a competitor with a long list of successes as a high school player.”
Aulin-Haynes will be entering a B.A. program in psychology, after which she has aspirations for law.
“Academically, UBC Okanagan is a fantastic school,” she said. “It was a difficult choice but UBC Okanagan’s reputation in academics made my decision a lot easier to elect to continue my education and my athletic career here.”
Aulin-Haynes is the first post to sign with Heather Semeniuk’s Heat squad for the fast approaching season.
The Heat will open its conference season at home on Nov. 7 against Fraser Valley at UBC’s Okanagan Gymnasium for their Canada West regular season opener, while preseason starts Oct. 4 in Langley versus Trinity Western for the Heat.