KELOWNA, BC - Gabby Kukura, a 5'10" wing player from Regina, Saskatchewan, is the next recruit to sign on with the UBC Okanagan Heat women's basketball program.
Kukura began her competitive basketball career as a six-year starter with the Junior Cougars club program. During that stretch she won a number of American tournaments and earned a third-place finish at a high-level tournament in Las Vegas.
Playing her high school ball at Campbell Collegiate, Gabby earned a pair of city championships with the junior team and another with the senior team, in her grade 11 year. Starting her last three years at Campbell, Kukura also earned an All-Star nod at the Luther Invitational Tournament.
Outside of her school ball, Kukura played as a member of the Jr. Cougars (PEBL; 2016&17) and Team Saskatchewan (2015-17). With the Provincial program she played on the U15, U16, and U17 teams, as a starter each year. With the Jr. Cougars she played U17 both seasons, and was a starter the second.
"I chose to attend UBCO because of the high academic quality that it upholds," said Kukura in her statement about the signing and her decision behind it. "I also chose to attend UBCO because coach Claire is a great coach and the girls out there were teammates that I would love to be able to play with. I have confidence in coach Claire and where she is taking the team!"
"I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree in science at UBCO, while also continuing my basketball career," Gabby said of her newly-decided future as a student-athlete.
Describing herself as a player and how she thinks she will fit with the Heat program, Kukura stated, "I am a teammate who enjoys sharing success and learning through challenges with all the teams I've been apart of. I am looking forward to bringing my defensive intensity and work ethic to the team. I can't wait to be apart of the Heat's program and success!"
Gabby closed her statement by saying, "I look forward to learning more about basketball from the coaching staff lead by Coach Meadows and her deep knowledge of the game."
"We are thrilled to be adding Gabby to our Heat program," head coach Claire Meadows stated. "Gabby will bring a tough competitive edge to our team. She is an excellent perimeter defender and her athleticism also allows her to be an effective slasher. Gabby's experience playing with the Saskatchewan Provincial team will help her transition to Canada West basketball."
Kukura is the third recruit to commit to Meadows' program and will join Emma Huff, a guard from Quebec, along with Vernon's Mackenzie Horst as first year players on the 2018/19 Heat women's basketball team, only Shenelle Tamminen and Carly Corrado are graduating from the team after this season and 11 on the roster are in their third season or below.