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 making an attempt to be the most effective position mannequin I might be,” he instructed the Canadian Press. “All of the experiences she’s had, I am simply serving to her to be higher, in order that her expertise may 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 thing I can to assist her basketball journey be the most effective it may be and to information her by means 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 heart. 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 had 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 mother and father lived basketball… I reside basketball, so it was cool,” mentioned Olivier-Maxence.

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

“Actually, 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 significant position in rising up.

“I feel the best way I have a look at him, … he was an amazing participant on the sector, however the best way he acted off the sector made him nice on the sector,” she mentioned. “I feel what I really like about him is that he all the time understood that I used to be his little sister and appeared 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 Sensible says. He averages 14.0 factors and 4.6 rebounds per recreation, each good for second on the staff.

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

“He did an amazing job drawing on the experiences he had over the primary two years of school,” Sensible mentioned. “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 staff. He performed for the native Novice Athletic Union staff, 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 so much, not solely as a basketball participant, but additionally as a man who leaves house early,” he mentioned of Lake Forest Academy. “I’ve to reside 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 recreation and main the staff 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 big.

“I feel her expertise modifications on the present. The longer term is brilliant for us together with her right here,” Ivey mentioned. “She sort of adjusts to the staff recreation, however she makes an instantaneous influence. … I feel 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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