By Ron Guillet
The Laurentian Lady Vees’ basketball team may be struggling in the standings, but the team has plenty of talented youth in the pipeline to look forward to, and one of those players is rookie forward Devenae Bryce.
Bryce, who turned 19 on Jan.15, has four years of eligibility left and is enrolled in the Forensic Science program. But no scientific evidence is required to see Bryce’s impact on the Lady Vees. Bryce, who leads the team with 6 blocks, is an all-around threat on the court and consistently displays an aggressive style that frustrates opponents.
“I love to penetrate to the basket and beat the defender with my quickness,” Bryce said of her play. “I usually draw fouls from penetrating but at the same time, someone will always be open if two people are on me. That gives me the chance to make an assist that is difficult to defend.”
Bryce has had basketball embedded in her life since she was a child, and has accumulated many accolades since then.
“One of my first presents was a basketball and a mini net,” Bryce recalled. “I started playing competitively in elementary school. I was the only fourth grader to make the junior team. Since then, I played every year in school. I started playing rep basketball for Barrie Royals in Grade 8. This was when I really started to get some real basketball training. I was much less experienced than the other girls, but I made the team and ended up playing for them until Grade 12.
Bryce said her favorite Women’s National Basketball Association player is Candace Parker because “she always has steals or blocks every game and she’s a good penetrator. She inspires me to work harder and improve my shot so I can be more versatile like she is. She is also one of the few females who can dunk, one day I will too.”
Bryce said her dream is to play in the WNBA or overseas. While she realizes attaining such an aspiration is slim, she knows anything is possible and won’t quit. She may also pursue a coaching tenure if such an opportunity arises.
Bryce said she wouldn’t be who she is today without basketball, which has taught her several lessons growing up.
“Basketball is a major part of my life because it has taught me many things on and off the court, and I have met many people because of it,” Bryce said. “Without basketball, I may not be as outgoing, active, or disciplined. I’ve learned over the years that you really have to work hard at something to get results.”