The University of Northern British Columbia’s Women’s Basketball team has continued its tradition of recruiting tremendous European talent, officially announcing the commitment of Laura Garmendia Garcia for the 2019-2020 Canada West season.
Garmendia Garcia is a native of Castelldefels, a town near Barcelona, Spain. The 18-year-old is ready to move to Prince George to continue her career on the hardcourt.
“I am really excited to join the Timberwolves and to play basketball at the highest level in Canada. I chose UNBC, not only because it has a really good basketball team, but also because it is one of the best universities in the country.
Standing six-foot-two, Garmendia Garcia played this year for Femeni Sant Adria, a club team in Preferenta A; the highest level of basketball in Spain. FSA won the regional Catalonia title, before finishing fourth in the Spanish National Championships. She is hopeful her wealth of experience pays off at UNBC.
“In my opinion, the toughest adjustment from high school to U SPORTS will be the toughness of the training and games. But I am willing to work hard for the team, and to improve myself.”
Just prior to the Nationals, Garmendia Garcia suffered an ACL injury and underwent surgery this spring to repair any damage. Timberwolves coach Sergey Shchepotkin is excited to have his newest forward join the team in Canada, and be able to have her with the TWolves program for five years.
“Laura will be a redshirt this year for us, as she recovers from her injury. I think it will be a good thing, as it gives her time to rehab, while also adapting to Canadian lifestyle and Canadian university.”
At just 18 years old, Garmendia Garcia is just scratching the surface of her potential. Known for her motor on the defensive end and her willingness to do the little things to help her team, the post also has the IQ to suggest she will develop quickly in all areas of the game.
“I have been watching the Timberwolves, and I feel like I can really fit on the team. Even though defense is my strength, I also like to play in the low post and grab rebounds. This year, I have been playing in the highest level in Spain, and I am really excited to try to play in the highest level in Canada.”
Shchepotkin, who has had significant success with recruiting international players for the Timberwolves, says Garmendia Garcia projects as an impact player in Canada West.
“I was impressed by Laura’s efficiency. She is a hard worker, and she does an excellent job on defense and on the boards. She will definitely help the team’s energy. She has experience playing high-level basketball in Spain, and I think she will develop and help us compete with the best teams in U SPORTS.”
A 2019 graduate of Lycee Francais Bon Soleil High School, Laura has kept a keen eye on the TWolves throughout the season. She will join fellow internationals Maria Mongomo and Alina Shakirova, and hopes their experience making the transition to Canada will aid in her own move.
“I have been following the Timberwolves throughout the season, and I think they did an amazing job. I am really excited to join them this season. I am aware that there are a few international students on the team, and that makes me really happy. I am willing to learn from them, and become friends with them.”
Garmendia Garcia plans to enroll in Biomedical Studies at UNBC, with aspirations to become a doctor. She will join her new teammates on a preseason trip to Spain in late August.
“I love basketball. I can forge new friendships, and it helps me to forget everything else, like school, exams, and stress. When they have me the opportunity to play basketball at UNBC, the first thing I thought was thank you.”