By Amy Lazar
When Asha Forrester mailed her jersey back to her former basketball coach at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, she thought it would be the last one she’d ever wear.
Although today she’s sporting a Ryerson women’s basketball jersey, it’s only a practice jersey.
Two years ago, during Forrester’s rookie season on the women’s basketball team at SAIT, she helped her team bring home the Canadian College Athletic Association National Women’s Championship.
“I have a National Championship title under my belt. Some athletes go through their whole careers and never have that,” she says. “I’ll never forget that winning feeling.”
Forrester was supposed to be enrolled in this fall’s fashion program, but her transcripts from SAIT were sent too late.
It was during her stay at SAIT that Forrester met Rams assistant coach Richard Dean, who was scouting her.
Dean invited her to shoot the ball around with the Rams.
Rams captain Teaka Grizzle says Forrester immediately meshed with the squad.
But the 6-foot forward made it clear to the team that she came to Ontario to study fashion and not to play basketball.
“When I came to Toronto I didn’t come to play basketball — I came to concentrate on school,” says the dominant post player.
Forrester had a change of heart in September and began practicing with the Rams. Since then she has gained the admiration of her teammates and coaches.
Currently, she is not registered as a Ryerson student, but Forrester says she is trying to register in January classes to make her eligible to play for Ryerson next semester.
“I think Asha could be one of the top players in our league,” says head coach Sandy Pothier. “She’s going to be a huge impact player for this program, no doubt about it.”
The 5-foot-9 Grizzle says Forrester has enough ability to be the women’s most valuable player in 2002-03 if she is able to suit up for the blue and gold.