(FREDERICTON, NB) A renewed love of basketball has landed Jaiden Penney a chance to showcase her talent with the UNB Reds women’s basketball team.
A gifted two-sport athlete, Penney had, until recently, been focused on soccer. But she’s come back to basketball with a new passion and fire.
“I’m most excited to see my growth and improvement as a basketball player that will come from playing at a higher level,” said Penney. “The team is young, but I have no doubt that I will be challenged every practice. I’m excited to enter a new basketball family and overcome any challenges we face as a team.”
Penney is currently playing her final year of high school basketball with the Leo Hayes High School Lions. The Lions are involved the NBIAA’s sectional playoffs, and face Riverview High School, in a do-or-die match, on Friday.
“Jaiden is a unique signing for us,” said Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. “She stepped away from basketball to pursue soccer, a sport she’s excelled in for the past three or four years. But she has fallen in love with basketball all over again and we’re really looking forward to helping her reach her goals on the court and in the classroom.”
The 17-year-old wing has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent, and will join the Reds in the 2019-20 Atlantic University Sport season.
“I’ve grown up watching the UNB teams play, and the I love the atmosphere when watching games in the Currie Center. UNB has a great athletic department and academic programs, and I could not wait to be a part of it when I was presented the opportunity.”
“Jaiden is a very special athlete and a great person,” said Speedy. “She knows playing basketball at the U SPORTS level will be a big step. One of the many reasons I’m excited to start working with her is because she is so fired up about this challenge.”
Penney will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree while attending UNB.