Volume 95, Issue 1
Thursday, May 24, 2001
The diamond in the rough:
|Sarah Lercara's Vital Stats
By Jordan Bell
The Forest City isn't known as the premier hotbed of competitive basketball in Ontario, but there is a diamond in the rough and her name is Sarah Lercara.
The third-year forward for the Western Mustangs women's basketball team is home-bred, right here in the city of London. A graduate of London Central Secondary School, she is faithfully supported by the throngs of fanatics who frequent Alumni Hall.
Lercara's quest to basketball stardom can be traced back through time to the early years of her life. "My grade six physical education teacher encouraged me to pursue the game. I suppose she saw a sparkle of potential," she said.
The development has been scintillating. From a young child with a gift, to a well-known elite high school athlete and finally to the upper echelon of basketball in Canada, Lercara has never allowed an obstacle to divert her path. The learning curve has been mastered and she strives to pass her knowledge onto the future of the game.
"I work at basketball camps during the summer and enjoy passing my knowledge on to younger children," Lercara said. "Children need role models and I understand that the greatest gift I can give is my knowledge and teaching."
The 5'11" player is adept at shooting the rock, combining the ability to throw from long-range with the capability to play the physical in the post-game. The energy she brings to the Mustang squad is unparalleled, playing stellar defense while also orchestrating the fast break.
But her greatness doesn't lie just in her athletic body – it also resides in her mind. A third-year economics major, Lercara values the importance of an education to balance her hectic life.
"I am striving to enter the [Richard] Ivey School of Business," Lercara said. "I would relish the chance to become involved in the business world, incorporating sports into that equation," she said.
Lercara's career has been filled with memorable moments, but the event she cherishes most is her entry into the frenetic sporting atmosphere.
"My most memorable moment was when we played the Oakridge Oaks in the city final in grade eleven," Lercara said. "It was the first time I had been exposed to that atmosphere."
The Mustang season was filled with highs and lows, but ultimately the squad was eliminated from contention by the McMaster Marauders. Lercara said the season wasn't perfect, but all wasn't for naught.
"Compared to last year, this year was disappointing," Lercara said. "But things don't always pan out the way you want them to and with the experience our young players gained, it helps build for next season."
And with that season on the horizon, Lercara – as is customary with her confident nature – ponders the question:
"Why can't we win the national championship?"
Copyright © The Gazette 2000