By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
National team standout Leashja Grant will continue her collegiate career in Ontario, Canada with the Lakehead Thunderwolves.
After playing at the JuCo and NCAA Division I levels, US Visa issues periodically stalled her athletic and academic progression last season, but she now joins a programme looking to contend in the Ontario University Association.
Thunder head coach Jon Kriener said it was an amazing signing for his programme, a team that reached the Ontario Universities Association Final Four last season.
"Wow," Kreiner said "She's a legit NCAA Division I post.
"She's undersized by NCAA Division I standards, but oversized with respect to her rebounding ability. She's a beast inside and the type of player that we've been looking for to complement our shooters and the talent we already have. Her strengths are going to be controlling the paint at both ends of the floor. She's a big-time rebounder and kind of gives our shooters a little bit more leeway to let loose a little bit. Also we'll look at getting the ball inside and playing that inside game."
She will have two years of eligibility remaining for the Thunderwolves
"Canada, on the whole, was an amazing experience.
"I really enjoyed the environment and people I met in Thunder Bay and in the Thunderdome," she said in a release issued by the school's athletic department.
"The coaching staff and teammates all showed me what Lakehead was about, nothing but greatness and the chance to accomplish goals.
"I hope to accomplish a lot both on and off the court and I have confidence that will happen at Lakehead U. I am looking forward to a great first year at Lakehead with a fresh start."
Grant last played collegiately for the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Big 12 at the NCAA Division I level during the 2015-16 season
She averaged 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for the Red Raiders in her lone season in Lubbock, Texas.
Visa issues prevented Grant from returning to the Red Raiders for a second season and forced her to sit out.
Fellow Bahamian Donnathon Moss, currently the assistant coach for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks in Northern Alberta, Canada facilitated the networking between Grant and Lakehead. Moss has recruited several Bahamians to the programme, most notably Jackson Jacobs who led the Ooks to a national championship.
She spent the past off-season with a noteworthy appearance on the Women's Senior National team for the second time.
Despite a 5th place finish at this year's Women's Centrobasket Championships, Grant led the Bahamas and averaged a double double with 15.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Prior to her time with Texas Tech, Grant played at the junior college level with the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals.
In her sophomore and final season with the Cardinals, Grant averaged a double double with 12.1 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.
Her highlight of the season came when she grabbed 31 rebounds to become the school's single game leader and broke Portia Hill's 27-year-old record.
Grant helped the Cardinals to claim an eighth straight Region XIV championship and national tournament berth. She posted 23 double doubles in 34 games, including six games with at least 18 rebounds or more
She is the daughter of longtime CR Walker Knights head basketball coach Trevor Grant.
Her brother, Trevon Grant, is also a collegiate basketball player at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.