Elsa Langill’s journey to join the Brandon University Bobcats women’s basketball team began with a recommendation from one of the top basketball coaches in the country.
On Monday, the 18-year-old native of Kamloops, B.C., became the fourth recruit to sign her letter of intent to play for new Bobcats head coach Novell Thomas, who first heard about Langill from former Canadian national team head coach Ken Olynyk.
"He coached her all through high school and he’s somebody who I trust in terms of their assessment of players," said Thomas, who once played for Olynyk on the national under-22 team. "I watched some game tape of her and worked her out in Kamloops and I think the good thing about her is she is a good kid and a good student and she has a basketball mind. She has been coached well from both Ken and her dad all throughout her high school career, so that stuff is kind of priceless from a coaching standpoint."
The 5-foot-10 forward was a high school standout for the South Kamloops Titans, helping lead the B.C. team to berths in the provincial championship four times. An honour roll student in high school, Langill graduated in 2011 and moved on to university at Thompson Rivers, but did not play while she recovered from an injury.
"I took a year off because I had an ankle injury, but I’ve always known that I want to play at the CIS level," Langill said via telephone from her home in Kamloops. "So I sent a recruiting thing out to a few schools ... and from there I had a lot of interest from other universities contacting me. And I went to a few I.D. camps and tryouts and Brandon just seemed to be the right pick for me and I’m super excited to come out there ...
"I like the idea of being part of building a strong program and being part of the legacy that is going to start. And it’s a nice small community and the school’s not too big, so it will be nice small classrooms and it’s more personalized and individual learning."
Langill joins fellow rookies Maegan MacKay and Ambrea McDonald-Okoro from Regina, as well as third-year Manitoba college transfer Carrera Lamoureux of Winnipeg, in joining the Bobcats this fall.
"I’m excited about this signing and I don’t know what she will bring in her first year, much like all of our other first-year players, but she has a good base to work from in terms of smarts and skills," Thomas said. "She can shoot the three and she’s a confident ball handler and she’s excited to play and we’re excited to have her."
Langill, who has played in the Basketball B.C. Elite League since she was in Grade 8, is looking forward to possibly getting the chance to contribute immediately at BU.
"I would like to improve as a player, but I am very strong shooter, so I think my shooting could definitely benefit the team," she said.