TORONTO,ON–One Canadian under the female radar is Taneesha Greaves, a 2013 5’6 point guard hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
This season Taneesha attended Oak Hill Academy, a private Baptist school more recognized for their men’s powerhouse basketball teams, who have produced such players as Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony and more recently the Duke bound Quinn Cook.
Taneesha reached out to Ro Russell, Founder of the Grassroots Canada club program a year ago about the possibility of playing in Toronto in order for her to play more competitive basketball. Russell coaches at a North Carolina prep school [CFCA] located about three hours away from Oak Hill and shares a strong bond with Taneesha.
Now, almost a year later Taneesha describes her experience from playing basketball at Glenlawn Collegiate in Manitoba, Canada to playing against arguably the best American girls in high school basketbal has to offer.
What motivated you to play basketball?
My mom put me in a community center league when I was young that I played in once a week for fun. By the time I got in Grade 8 I figured i wanted to get better, so I started working more on my game and taking it more seriously.
Being one of the top players in your age group last year, how did you feel when you got cut at tryouts for the Canadian National Team last year?
I didn’t really take it personally; I just turned the experience into something that motivated me to get better for upcoming season and next year.
Who helped you in the process of transferring from Glenlawn to Oak Hill?
Coach Ro Russell really helped me by guiding me through everything and helping me adjust. Every open weekend I would meet up with him and he helped me keep my spirits up through my injury. Rev also contributes to a big part of my motivation. My mom was also very involved in the process and has been really supportive of everything I am doing, we are very close.
What’s the biggest difference you see in Canadian basketball compared to American basketball?
American basketball, I find is more intense and aggressive. The competition level is a lot higher and so is the talent level. More girls play the sport of basketball and it is a lot more popular than it is in Canada, where sports like wrestling and soccer and hockey are very popular.
What was your role on the Oak Hill team this year?
This season I was injured with an ACL and meniscus tear, so I spent a lot of time on the bench encouraging my teammates. I motivated them when they needed a push, and I supported them through tough practices and losses. Being able to watch my team throughout the year helped me to learn what my team will need and how to be a good leader to them.
How did your team compete this year overall?
This was a tough year because we had a lot of injuries, but we stayed strong and together, and I believe that we can only get better for this upcoming season.
At Oak Hill what kind of schedule or teams do you play against?
We really play a variety of teams throughout the year. We play against Top 10 teams and unranked teams. Some good teams we played were Overton, Buford, and Lake Taylor.
Almost everyone in the basketball world knows what kind of players come out of Oak Hill. How do you feel about personally knowing NBA prospects, like Quinn Cook?
I think it’s cool because we are all working hard to reach our dreams. Watching Quinn play really motivated me to work to be the best I could be. But Quinn is Quinn- boy is hilarious! I wish him all the best with college and further.
Who do you look up to in terms of basketball?
Guys like Myck Kabongo, and Quinn Cook.
How do you feel playing with a fellow Canadian in Nirra Fields? [Recently transferred to Mater Dai]
I thought it was good having someone from back home there with me. She was my roommate and my Big sister. Playing against her in practice before i got hurt made me a lot better because she was stronger and faster, which made me bust my butt every practice to keep up with her.
In terms of college, what type of programs are you interested in and what do you want to pursue?
I like schools like LSU, Duke, Louisville and a few more. I want to study the human body, I find that stuff interesting, but my favourite subject is math.
Are you getting recruited by any schools? If so, who is helping you with the recruiting process?
Louisville and some other schools have shown interest. Mike Rodgers, Coach Ro and my mom have been helping me out in the process.
Where do you see yourself in two years? Do you envision yourself playing in America or in Canada?
I see myself playing at a D1 college in America, and competing in the NCAA Tournament. I want to get a good education and hopefully represent Canada, playing professionally after college.
Taneesha has recovered from her injury and plans to work hard this summer so that she can lead her team next season. With her work ethic and skill development under Head Coach Mike Rodgers, Taneesha has a great future ahead of her.