By Jordan Ercit
Kitchener Post staff
Blair McNaughton is bolting to Thunder Bay.
The Forest Heights Collegiate Institute standout announced her commitment to the northern Ontario city’s Lakehead University starting next season. The Lakehead Thunderwolves play in the OUA Conference’s West Division along with the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks and the University of Waterloo Warriors.
The 5’11’’ forward will study environmental resource management at the school and join a Thunderwolves team stocked with freshmen. Six rookie players make up the 2012-13 Lakehead roster and another three players are in their fourth or fifth year of athletic eligibility.
“I had the opportunity to visit Lakehead in the fall and I loved it,” McNaughton said in a media release posted on the school’s athletics website. “Everyone was so friendly and welcoming; I was blown away by the atmosphere in the Thunderdome for the opening game of the season.
“My dream has been to play basketball after high school and Lakehead is the best fit for me.”
A WCSSAA senior girls basketball second-team all-star last fall, McNaughton averaged 22.4 points, five rebounds and five assists per game with the Trojans in 2012, while shooting 85 per cent from the free throw line.
She is also a member of the Tri-County Thunder team in the Junior Elite League, which includes fellow Kitchener native Liz McLellan of Cameron Heights and a collection of players from, among others, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and Brantford.
The Thunder kicked off its season Jan. 19 and 20 with wins over the Windsor Valiants (68-41), St. Clair (79-64) and London Ramblers (78-49) at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge.
The Thunder return to action this weekend at St. Augustine Catholic Secondary School in Brampton with games against the Hamilton Fox Trotters, Niagara JUEL and GTA West.
The younger KW Lightning, which dropped games to London, Windsor and Niagara on Jan. 19 and 20, are in Barrie for games against the Kingston Impact, Advantage Titans and Hamilton Transway.