A rookie of the year and a provincial champion from Kelowna Secondary are to join Bobby Mitchell’s new look UBCO Heat women’s basketball team, the school announced Friday.
Alessia Brutto, the top freshman at Capilano University, will transfer to UBCO along with Okanagan College Coyotes’ Kasey Patchell.
“These two players round off a very deep and diverse first recruiting class for our coaching staff,” Mitchell told Goheat.ca.
“We are all very happy with being able to bring in so much talent, both local players and from other areas of Western Canada. I think it is a testament where this program is going to see the level of interest we are getting from quality potential players.”
Patchell was a member of the KSS triple-A provincial championship team from 2018. As a first-year player with the Coyotes, the five-foot-four point guard averaged nine points a contest and was sixth in the conference in made threes (23-75).
“We have been big fans of Kasey’s game for a long time,” Mitchell said. “She is a local player that has excelled at every level. We knew we needed a point guard to replace the graduating Vanessa (Botteselle) and had to look no farther than out own backyard as the former Junior Heat standout was having an excellent rookie season with the Okanagan Coyotes. We are more than happy to bring in a player and person with Kasey’s pedigree.”
Patchell will transfer into the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences with an eventual plan of graduating with a Bachelor of Education.
“I chose UBCO because it is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a program in my hometown,” Patchell said. “I look forward to playing for a great coach that I’ve played for in the past and I’m excited to play for again. It’s also pretty prestigious to have a University of British Columbia degree.”
The Italian-born and raised Brutto is a five-foot-nine guard who averaged nearly a double-double with the Blues last season as she poured in 11.9 points and grabbed 9.8 rebounds per contest.
“We think we have unearthed a gem in Alessia. She came up for a camp this spring and fit in with the team right away. Her ability to make plays from anywhere on the court was special and we envision her contributing right off the bat,” Mitchell said.
“From the guard spot, she has a keen eye for the ball off the glass and that is evidenced in her rebounding numbers. We expect her to continue that trend in Canada West.”
Enrolling in the Faculty of Management, Brutto wanted a world-class education and a chance to play U-SPORTS basketball.
“UBC Okanagan is known for its high level of education,” says Brutto. “From an athletic prospective, it has a good working environment and ethics. I am excited to hopefully help the program to grow while training and competing against really good players.”
Mitchell’s first recruiting class now features three Okanagan basketball players as well as three from the Lower Mainland, and one from both Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Patchell is joining Kelsey Falk (Vernon) and Jaeli Ibbetson (Kelowna) while Tessa Burton (Coquitlam), Jenessa Knapp (Langley) and Emily Instant (Coquitlam) are from the Lower Mainland. Saskatoon’s Mira Witt, Calgary’s Lucy Faba and Brutto, who is from northern Italian city of Bassano Del Grappa, are coming from out of province.