Title: Laeticia Amihere Is the Future of Women’s Basketball
Date: November 7, 2017
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: As part of Vice’s 16 Project, I wrote about rising Canadian basketball phenom Laeticia Amihere, who’s changing the perception of what it means to “jump like a girl.”
If you’ve heard of Laeticia Amihere, it’s probably because of her most publicized accomplishment: Becoming the first Canadian woman to dunk a basketball. The dunk, itself a thunderous feat of athleticism even before one considers that she was just 15 years old at the time, became a viral internet sensation after it was posted on Twitter by the Ontario Basketball Association.
A few months later, while playing with the Canadian senior women’s team at an exhibition tournament in Europe, the dunk caught the attention of some of Amihere’s more seasoned teammates—people for whom a young woman dunking is less novel at this point. “Some of [my teammates] played in the WNBA, so they’re like, ‘Ah, I’ve seen that before,'” she told VICE Sports over the phone in September. She added that even still, “When it came out, they were pretty stunned.”
“Coming out with the dunk drew a lot of attention,” she said, reflecting on her viral fame. And while her dunk is truly impressive, it’s not the most impressive thing about the 16-year-old Amihere. She is the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2019, according to the espnW HoopGurlz rankings—that’s not just in Canada, but all of North America. She was called up to the Canadian senior team as a 16-year-old for a reason. She also recently helped lead the nation’s Under-19 team to bronze at the FIBA U-19 World Cup, earning All-Tournament Team honors, averaging 11.7 points and 7.4 rebounds over seven games against older, more experienced players. And while she wasn’t with the senior team for their gold-medal victory at the FIBA AmeriCup in Argentina, it won’t be long until she’s a fixture on that roster.