Lee Anna Osei reminisces on her journey from Eastern Commerce, to Miami, to Texas and back home again.
TORONTO,ON–In a time when Canadian basketball players have resorted to prep school and playing basketball in the States, Lee Anna Osei has proved that playing your best, determination and great work ethic is all you need to make it as a little fish in a big ocean.
From selling chocolate in order to raise money to play ball, to busing from Vaughan -Toronto to play with one of the best high school programs in the country (Eastern Commerce), the 5’5 spark plug has always done everything in her power to play the game she loves. She started playing at the tender age of three and grew to love the game. Osei played her first year of high school basketball at Emily Carr high school in Vaughan and then decided to transfer to Eastern Commerce to play alongside her future Trinity Valley Community College teammates Lesha Dunn and Jenea Barrett, where she knew her game would grow.
“I think my last year is when I got the most exposure because of the camps I went to with Coach Ro from Grassroots.”
Lee Anna was heavily recruited by schools such as Cornell, St. Johns and the University of Miami. Osei was sitting at the top of the Canadian female basketball world. A 5’5 point guard with speed and handles, made her a great asset to any program.
“I picked Miami because Coach Ro had a good relationship with the assistant coach there, and I felt like, being from Canada I really wanted to experience something different. St. John’s is in New York and I would still go through winter time and it was not too far from home and I just wanted to get away and get a good experience. That’s when I decided Miami would be a good experience for me.”
Osei’s first year didn’t go as planned and she used the word ‘eventful’ to describe her stay there.
“It was eventful because a lot of things happened to me that I didn’t expect to happen.”
Prior to the beginning of the season, Osei was diagnosed with Compartment syndrome due to shin splints which led her to several appointments with the doctor. Having to do surgery as well as rehab, set her back in terms of preparation for the upcoming season.
After one year with the Miami Hurricanes, Osei transferred to Trinity Valley Community College in Texas.
Two of Lee Anna’s former Eastern Commerce teammates, Lesha Dunn and Jenea Barrett, suggested she join them in Texas. A graduate from Trinity Valley Community College, Lee Anna has played basketball on all amateur levels and is constantly building her basketball knowledge however possible.
She has moved back to Toronto and hopes to attend York University in January 2012. Even though she loves the game, she’s not sure about playing.
“I sat down with Coach Ro and decided the best place to be, would be at home to help my mom. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play because of the time commitment that basketball does take up because I knew that I would be working to help my mother out at home.”
With influences from her coaches including her high school coach, Kareem Griffin, Osei really enjoys teaching the game of basketball to young girls and would like to provide them with the same opportunities she received. She is currently coaching a U12 girls team called Baseline Elite 416.
Osei has also joined the NPH staff as a women’s analyst/reporter and hopes to “give girls younger than me the opportunity to get proper exposure, to get properly recruited and to eventually get a scholarship offer so that they can have their education paid for.”
“I want to get involved in girls basketball to help expand the game, help develop girls with their skill level to pass on what I learned from my experiences so I can set them ahead.”
Lee Anna has an abundance of basketball insight and the NPH family is glad to welcome her.
It is safe to say that lady ballers on this side of the border are in good hands.
PHOTO COURTESY: Miami Hurricanes/ Toronto Star