This week fourth-year Basketball Mounties Erin Steeves and Sarah McGeachy will cap off their university basketball careers at a national championship on home court. What makes it that much sweeter is completing this journey together.
Steeves, from Shediac Cape, NB, and McGeachy, from New Maryland, NB, met playing New Brunswick provincial basketball when they were just 14. They played together every summer after that, including a national championship in Winnipeg, MB and Canada Games in Sherbrooke, QC. During the summer they were teammates and in the school year they were high school rivals.
“We have really developed as friends, teammates, and players,” says Steeves. “So being able to finish my basketball career with Sarah means a lot to me.”
Both multi-sport athletes growing up, basketball grew to be their main choice.
“Nothing ever compared to basketball for me,” says Steeves. “The physical part of the game and level of competitiveness match my personality and I enjoy being part of a team.”
They both chose Mount A for its small campus community and the opportunity to continue to play basketball at a high level. The pair not only share basketball in common, but they are also both completing a degree in honours biology with a minor in chemistry, and they are roommates.
“We have the same classes and the same schedule,” says McGeachy. “It’s so great seeing this all come together for us academically and athletically and ending it with nationals here in Sackville.”
McGeachy and Steeves joined a nearly all-rookie team at Mount Allison in 2014.
“Having the opportunity to join a new team, with new players, and building a program was very appealing to me,” says Steeves. “I wanted to be able to make an impact right away.”
That year the Mounties upset high-ranked Saint Thomas University to reach the ACAA finals and the national championships at Vancouver Island University. That national championship experience is something McGeachy says will help them this week.
“We realize what it takes to get to the nationals and what the competition looks like across the country. Once you get there, anything can happen,” she says.
Until the team’s thrilling ACAA Championship overtime victory over the MSVU Mystics this year, beating STU to reach the national championship in 2015 ranked as their top basketball memory at Mount Allison.
“In my first year, the feeling of going to nationals was a bonus,” says Steeves. “Now we have built such a strong program and have been preparing for this all year. My new favourite basketball memory at Mount Allison is watching my teammate, Emma Hachey, make her second free throw with two seconds left in the championship game to take us into overtime in my senior year.”
Throughout their four years, McGeachy has been named Rookie of the Year, team MVP, and first team all-conference twice. Steeves received the national scholar award all four years and was awarded the Joey’s Drover Leadership Award last year.
Both are looking forward to hosting the nationals this week with the hometown support.
“Being in a small community is such a great thing,” says McGeachy. “We will be able to have our friends, family, and community around to support us.”
Steeves says hosting the ACAA Championships last year gave them a taste of the atmosphere, but this will be a whole other level.
“Having your friends, family, and community there is motivating and picks up the momentum for your team. It will be great to showcase that small community feeling to everyone else from around the country.”
Next year, McGeachy plans to pursue an education degree and Steeves a degree in dentistry.
Catch the Mounties in first-round action vs. the Medicine Hat Rattlers on Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. AST. Tournament passes are available online and daily passes can be purchased at the door.
Stay up-to-date at www.ccaa.ca/sports/wbkb and follow the action on Twitter and Facebook @CCAAsportsACSC — join in the conversation using #CCAAwbb2018.