Abella making successful transition in first season with Ravens

The biggest difference between college and university basketball in Canada? “Taller people,” according to Carleton women’s basketball guard Jenjen Abella.

Playing for the Mohawk Mountaineers of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) was a great experience, Abella said. At Mohawk College, Abella was able to excel, winning back-to-back OCAA silver medals and multiple All-Star and academic awards.

Abella said making the move to Carleton was easy.

“The coaching staff have been great and the girls have been great, making it an easy transition for me,” she said.

Having not been recruited by any U SPORTS basketball team, Abella spent three years playing for Mohawk College before getting in touch with Carleton Ravens women’s basketball head coach Taffe Charles.

“She’s a big part of our team . . . It’s a big jump coming from college to university,
Charles said. “The biggest jump that she needs to make is that you gotta be consistent on every single play, she’s learned that throughout the year and I think she’s done a good job at that.”

But there have been some difficulties for Abella, who said the larger height of her new opponents as well as the difference in play style were challenging.

“It’s the pace of the game and the more technical areas, just the little things like reading the defence and offence has been difficult for me,” she said.

Abella has played in 17 games this season and started in 15 of them. She consistently plays 30 minutes a night and is 46th in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) in points per game with 8.8 and ranks 9th in three-pointers per game. Her playmaking ability is also among the best in the OUA, her 3.1 assists per game is 12th best in the OUA.

“I think I’ve been doing good coming from college and being a star there and then having a role type position here. It’s been good for me, I don’t have to score and can rely on my team,” Abella said.

Abella was able to help lead Carleton to a OUA Critelli Cup win and the program’s first win at the U SPORTS women’s basketball Final 8 tournament.

She has logged 30.7 minutes per game in the playoffs and has put up 2.3 assists per game.

“I think we’ve taken a big step . . . It’s a slow progression but we’ve been getting better every single game,” Abella said.

Abella and the Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team will cap off the season in a rematch of the OUA championships against the Queen’s Gaels, but this time competing for Bronze in Victoria, B.C.

– Photo by Dan Robertson