The University of Northern British Columbia Women’s Basketball frontcourt has added a major dose of length and athleticism, officially announcing the commitment of forward Nyemuon Padhal for the 2022-2023 Canada West season and beyond.
“I am really excited. The fact that I can play basketball and study is really nice. When I was in Grade 11, I started to see people my age play at the university level and it inspired me to do the same thing. Honestly, I never thought this was an option for me until last year, and it is amazing.”
The native of Brooks, Alberta met UNBC coach Sergey Shchepotkin when her high school, Brooks Composite, was earning a silver medal at the Alberta ‘AAA’ Provincial Championship. She became familiar with the Timberwolves program and saw Northern BC as an ideal fit to continue her basketball journey.
“I met Coach at my basketball provincials. I have never been to BC before, and I wanted to try something new. I have lived in Alberta my whole life, and BC is really exciting. Plus, I really like the program here.”
The Timberwolves have made five consecutive Canada West playoffs, with postseason wins in back-to-back seasons. Padhal visited Prince George and was able to train with some of the TWolves, allowing her to learn more about the U SPORTS program Shchepotkin has been building for nine seasons.
“I like the program because the players are developed really well. They start off with things that are good in their game, and by the end of their careers they have improved so much.”
Shchepotkin’s managed a roster lacking significant size, having competed with just two traditional post players in the 2021-2022 season. Standing six-foot-one with an incredible reach, Padhal’s physical profile adds an exciting element to the Timberwolves for the present and future. The former volleyball player is a fluid mover on the court, and Shchepotkin hopes she develops into an impact player at each end of the floor.
“We are really thrilled to welcome Nyemuon to the Timberwolves. She has the length and athleticism to really make an impact at the Canada West level. What really stands out about Nyemuon is her hunger to improve. She takes in every piece of info, and looks to apply it on the court, so we are really confident in her growth and development. It is a good day for the TWolves.”
Padhal competes for coach Janice Laing and the Medicine Hat Golden Hawks club program, where she has honed her skills and developed her all-around game. The athletic post knows there will be an adjustment at the highest level of university sport in the country, but she is ready for the challenge.
“I like to play very fast. I like the fast break. Grab the rebound and run the court. I am good off the dribble in the post, and I like getting those one-on-one’s in the post, due to my height advantage. I think the pace of the game is going to be very different. The girls are obviously going to be a lot taller and stronger, so that is something I have to get used to. I need to up my game so I can compete with them.”
The 17-year-old will graduate from Brooks Composite this June, and enroll in general studies at UNBC, with a potential long-term goal of pursuing nursing. She expects the intense balancing act of varsity sports and university academics to allow her to thrive on the court and in the classroom.
“That lifestyle is going to help me with my future. It’s going to teach me to manage my time better. I am excited. I like going to the gym, and I think I am going to be very healthy and in shape, so I am excited.”
Padhal will join her new teammates for training camp in August in Prince George, where she will continue a basketball journey that started when she was 12-years-old.
“I like everything about the game. I like going out there and giving it my all. I feel very happy. I am proud of myself and my accomplishments. I can’t wait to start playing.”