Regulars(Archives)

Dec
07
2018
Volume
7-1

Catch You On The Rebound

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Is it a big world and small ball? Or is it a big ball and small world? Such is the life of a basketball gypsy.

Keyano Huskies women’s basketball star Augusta Kievisaite has dribbled around the world. Born January 6, 1995 in Kaunas, Lithuania the 5-foot-8 sharpshooter took her talents in Grade 11 to Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“Some of my friends went there and they had a big program for international students,” recalls Kievisaite, who is enrolled in Business at Keyano College. “I knew basic English in that I could understand people but it was harder to answer people.”

In was on the hardwood that she spoke loudly.

In her native country of Lithuania, the sport of basketball is to what hockey is to Canada.

“It (basketball) is like a second religion back home and I wanted to go where it was played at the highest level,” added Kievisaite, who had played on Lithuania’s Under 16 national team.

Of her high school years south of the border in the USA she said, “It helped me grow as person and allowed me to meet people from different cultures”

Introduction to USA culture also meant introduction to the fast food culture.

“I was never used to fast food and more used to home cooked meals. At first I just wanted to try everything...McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A.”

A NACA All-Tournament Team selection in high school, she would move 50 kilometres away to attend Cleveland State Community College for two years; suiting up for the Cougars in 58 games, starting 23.

For the 2015-2016 season she would move north to join the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.

“I wanted to have another experience and see another country and I heard that they had a good basketball program.”

Her highlight during her lone season in the Manitoba capital, was a 11-point performance against crosstown University of Manitoba Bisons.

The 2016-2017 would be her final move in her post-secondary hoop journey.

“I was looking for a smaller school where the instructors actually know you and that they actually come out to games to watch you. I wanted a place with smaller classes where you get to know each other.

”I also wanted to stay in Canada. I found Keyano and it’s the perfect place for me at this time in my life. I really like it and I like the people and the culture here. There are so many possibilities workwise and the economy is good.”

To say that she made a huge impact with the Huskies in her first year of Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action is an understatement.

The team would finish the regular season with a record of 18 wins and six losses, their best showing since entering the ACAC women’s basketball program in 2010.

Huskies would be ranked No. 4 in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association polls but would be upset in their opening match at the 2017-2018 ACAC championships in Calgary, losing to the St. Mary’s Lightning 65-60.

Kievisaite would be ranked 1st in the ACAC North for steals per game 2.33, and 6th in points per game (ppg) 12.1; rebounds per game 6.42 and assists per game 2.17.

With stats across the board like that it was no surprise that she was selected ACAC All Conference First Team North.

At the time of this writing, Kievisaite is having a breakout campaign in her fifth and final season of post-secondary sport by averaging nearly 20 ppg.

“I have traveled the world because of basketball,” concludes Kievisaite. “I have made friends and experienced different cultures.”

 

Augusta Kievisaite headshot. Courtesy Alyssa Davies.

In-play photos courtesy Sportsgate Fort McMurray

CURTIS J PHILLIPS

Curtis J. Phillips has been a sports journalist in print/electronic mediums since 1976. A strong advocate of volunteerism, he is a founding father of numerous local events and organizations including the Challenge Cup and Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Phillips is also recognized internationally as a sports historian.

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