This year the St. Mary’s University College Women’s Lightning Basketball team has a type of bond between players that is indestructible; two of the young women are sisters, Chelsea and Katie Nutini. This is Katie’s second year with the Lightning and Chelsea’s first, previously playing for SAIT and Langara College. Chelsea chose to attend St. Mary’s after hearing from her sister about the community that is built not only in the athletics department but in the university as a whole. Both girls graduated from Mount Baker Secondary school in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
Chelsea, who is attending school to pursue a career as a speech pathologist, has taken a particular interest in the Bachelor of Education program at St. Mary’s which is highly regarded among educators. Katie is working towards a degree in Marine Biology and enjoys the small class sizes that the institution offers.
Both girls agree that basketball offers them opportunities to grow as teammates, friends and sisters. “I love that basketball has allowed me to better understand Katie as a person,” Chelsea says. “I now know how far I can push Katie, that’s not to say that I don’t intentionally push her farther. I have learned that Katie is extremely resilient and it’s something I admire in my younger sister.” Katie adds, “It’s great to play with someone who knows what your next move will be, and Chelsea and I share that instinct. Chelsea and I are different players and one thing that I have learned from her, through playing on the same team, is that when all else fails you just have to remember to have fun.”
Unfortunately, Chelsea will not be playing the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Katie says she will miss playing with her sister but she gets to talk to her enough at home anyways.
The Director of Athletics, Chris Shoults, has really enjoyed having both girls on the team this year as they have been excellent ambassadors for the university, “both sisters are strong academically and have a positive attitude about the game of basketball and life”. St. Mary’s women’s basketball coach Joseph Ness states, “these girls each bring something positive to our team. They both work really hard and challenge each other.”