CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — When the opportunity presents itself, one needs to seize the opportunity. For one Islander prospect, she did just that and it resulted in a commitment for post-secondary education.
After a strong showing at the Hurricanes Identification Camp in April, forward Rylee Connolly is set to join the Holland Hurricanes women’s basketball program for the 2019-2020 season.
For the past three seasons, Connolly has been a member of the Colonel Gray High School AAA women’s team. She was also a member of PEI provincial teams from 2015 through 2019, a stretch that included an appearance in the Canada Games.
While attending Holland College, Connolly with be enrolled in the Marketing and Advertising Management program.
“Holland College has a very welcoming and supportive environment that really interests me,” expressed Connolly. “I feel the setting makes for an easier transition from high school, plus staying on PEI and having the opportunity to play in front of my friends and family is an added bonus.”
Connolly, a 5’10” forward from Charlottetown, was named captain in her last two seasons with Colonel Gray.
When asked about what skills and strengths she will be bringing to the Hurricanes, Connolly had this to say.
“One of my main strengths as a player is my mental game. I also pride myself on my ability to read the floor and my rebounding skills. I believe the past two years as captain at Colonel Gray has taught me a lot about motivating, supporting, and pushing my teammates and myself to play to our potential. Having encouragement, a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn has helped shape me into a better player.”
Head coach Jared Cheverie is happy to add Connolly to the roster.
“Rylee is a driven and determined student-athlete who we have kept our eye on for the past two seasons, including her time with the U17 provincial team where she played for Hurricanes assistant coach, Katie Donahoe,” added Cheverie. “Rylee is already showing to be dedicated to improving her skill set and could be one of the young players to watch in this upcoming Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) season.”
The Hurricanes are coming off a season in which they finished 7-14 overall, a record that was good enough for sixth in the regular season standings. With a slew of young talent expected back next season, a group that includes the reigning Holland College Female Athlete of the Year in Lexi MacInnis as well as Ashley Plaggenhoef, among others.
The Hurricanes are set to open up their ACAA regular season on Saturday, November 2 when they visit the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
– T. Bennett