By Noah Love
Miruna Muller isn’t ready to give up Ryerson basketball.
The Rams’ all-star guard, who has been pursing a professional career in Europe for the past two years, has returned to school to play out her fifth and final year of eligibility with the women’s team.
“I went to Europe and I didn’t find anything I wanted,” said Muller, a native of Romania. “I just thought I’d rather come back to Canada, get some better stats and maybe go pro next year.”
Last spring, after three graduating players played their final game, Muller said she would rather launch a pro career than play for a rebuilding team. Now she says she’s excited about the new team’s potential.
“We have some really good recruits coming in,” Muller said. “I think we have a team that’s not just going to make the playoffs, but make the nationals as well.”
Assistant women’s basketball coach Richard Dean is running practices this week, while head coach Sandra Pothier is working with the Canadian Olympic team in Sydney. He says Muller’s return adds some depth to a team of mostly first- and second-year players.
“Miruna is always dangerous,” he said. “The other team always has to think about her.
“She’s very exciting to watch. The fans get to see a great player who can light it up from a long distance.”
Muller was the team’s leading scorer in each of the past two years and she knows she’ll be a go-to player this season. But she doesn’t think she’ll have to carry the whole team on her shoulders.
“I’m always going to step up, and I know that others will,” she said with confidence, as she in Kerr gym before starting practice on Monday night. “There should be less pressure for me because we have some more scorers.”
Although the team has only been practicing for a couple of weeks, Muller believes it will improve on last year’s regular season record of 8-12.
“We’re stronger than we were last year, and our team chemistry is better than any other years,” she said. “So we’ll see.”
The women’s basketball team begins its OUA season with an exhibition game against the University of Windsor on Friday, Oct. 6. Its regular season begins Friday, Nov. 10, when it hosts York.