Siblings feed pro dreams in Marquette, Notre Dame

MONTREAL (AP) — For Olivier Maxence-Prosper, the teachings aren’t only for himself as he approaches a possible shot at his NBA dream.

They’re additionally for the 20-year-old Montreal native to accomplice with his 17-year-old sister, Cassander, that embarks on a path it hopes will result in the WNBA.

“Rising up, I used to be attempting to be the most effective function mannequin I could possibly be,” he advised the Canadian Press. “All of the experiences she’s had, I am simply serving to her to be higher, in order that her expertise will be higher than mine.

He added, “She’s my solely sister and I and he or she’s actually, actually shut.” “I simply wish to do every little thing I can to assist her basketball journey be the most effective it may be and to information her by way of it.”

Oliver Maxence is a 6-foot-8, 230-pound small ahead for Marquette’s No. 16 ahead.

Cassandre, in the meantime, is a 6-foot-2 guard on the #7 ranked Notre Dame middle. She signed with Notre Dame as a 2023 five-star recruit from the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Affiliation’s Capital Courts Academy, and debuted for the Preventing Irish on December 29.

The 2 have been born and raised in Montreal by Guylaine and Gaetan, who performed basketball on the collegiate stage within the Nineties.

Guylaine performed one yr of Division I basketball at Manhattan Faculty earlier than returning to compete at Concordia College, the place she was a two-time RSEQ All-Star. Gaetan additionally performed for Concordia the place he was a three-time RSEQ All-Star.

“My dad and mom lived basketball… I dwell basketball, so it was cool,” mentioned Olivier-Maxence.

Basketball was one thing that was “instilled” within the siblings from a younger age.

“Truthfully, I all the time joked and mentioned I used to be brainwashed into taking part in basketball and loving basketball, however it’s cool,” Cassandre mentioned.

For Cassander, nonetheless, her brother’s affect performed a serious function in rising up.

“I believe the best way I take a look at him, … he was an ideal participant on the sector, however the best way he acted off the sector made him nice on the sector,” she mentioned. “I believe what I really like about him is that he all the time understood that I used to be his little sister and regarded as much as him. So no matter he did, he did it with the intention of, ‘I’ve somebody to attempt to encourage,’ and he all the time did issues proper on the courtroom.”

This performed a think about Olivier Maxence’s breakout season, Marquette coach Shaka Sensible says. He averages 14.0 factors and 4.6 rebounds per sport, each good for second on the crew.

“The O-Max has actually labored,” Sensible mentioned. “Residing within the health club, doing extra, spending time with lots of our program members, getting higher and being very targeted on the areas the place he must develop and needs to develop.

“He did an ideal job drawing on the experiences he had over the primary two years of faculty,” Sensible mentioned. “To be an older, extra assured, extra mature participant this yr, and it simply would not occur.”

Olivier Maxence was a four-star recruit from the NBA’s Latin American Academy in Mexico, the place he performed his senior yr alongside Indiana Pacers rookie Benedict Mathurin, additionally from Montreal. He signed with Clemson earlier than transferring to Marquette for his sophomore season.

Previous to that, he moved to Chicago on the age of 16 and performed for the Lake Forest Academy. His highschool in Plainville, Quebec, didn’t have a basketball crew. He performed for the native Beginner Athletic Union crew, the Brookwood Elite, earlier than on the lookout for a brand new problem.

“That yr was actually nice for me as a result of it helped me mature so much, not solely as a basketball participant, but in addition as a man who leaves residence early,” he mentioned of Lake Forest Academy. “I’ve to dwell alone and actually begin to mature and be disciplined to do issues alone.”

Cassander additionally left Montreal and moved to Ottawa on the age of 15 to play for the Capital Courts.

There, she completed her profession averaging a league-leading 25.1 factors, whereas grabbing 13.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and a pair of.6 blocks per sport and main the crew to its first-ever OSBA championship in 2022.

For Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey, former WNBA participant and mom of Detroit Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey, Cassandre’s expertise and potential is gigantic.

“I believe her expertise adjustments on the present. The long run is vibrant for us along with her right here,” Ivey mentioned. “She type of adjusts to the crew sport, however she makes a right away impression. … I believe for us, she’s going to play an enormous half in what we’re doing and that is thrilling for me.”

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