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 associate 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 making an attempt to be the perfect position mannequin I could possibly be,” he informed the Canadian Press. “All of the experiences she’s had, I am simply serving to her to be higher, in order that her expertise could be higher than mine.

He added, “She’s my solely sister and I and she or he’s actually, actually shut.” “I simply wish to do the whole lot I can to assist her basketball journey be the perfect it may be and to information her via 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 Combating 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 Nineteen Nineties.

Guylaine performed one 12 months of Division I basketball at Manhattan School 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,” stated Olivier-Maxence.

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

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

For Cassander, nonetheless, her brother’s affect performed a significant position in rising up.

“I believe the way in which I have a look at him, … he was a terrific participant on the sector, however the way in which he acted off the sector made him nice on the sector,” she stated. “I believe what I like about him is that he all the time understood that I used to be his little sister and seemed 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 court docket.”

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

“The O-Max has actually labored,” Good stated. “Dwelling within the gymnasium, doing extra, spending time with a lot of our program members, getting higher and being very centered on the areas the place he must develop and needs to develop.

“He did a terrific job drawing on the experiences he had over the primary two years of school,” Good stated. “To be an older, extra assured, extra mature participant this 12 months, and it simply does not occur.”

Olivier Maxence was a four-star recruit from the NBA’s Latin American Academy in Mexico, the place he performed his senior 12 months 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 group. He performed for the native Beginner Athletic Union group, the Brookwood Elite, earlier than on the lookout for a brand new problem.

“That 12 months was actually nice for me as a result of it helped me mature quite a bit, not solely as a basketball participant, but in addition as a man who leaves residence early,” he stated 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 group 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 vivid for us together with her right here,” Ivey stated. “She type of adjusts to the group sport, however she makes a direct affect. … 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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