St. Mary Catholic Secondary School student Taite Cleland will suit up for Ryerson University next year.
On April 18, Cleland signed her commitment to play basketball with the Ryerson Rams starting this September. Surrounded by her coaches, teammates and friends, Cleland reminisced about her three years of basketball at St. Mary, thanking her coaches, trainers and teammates for helping to make her the player and person she is today.
Head Coach Rich Wesolowski shared fond memories of coaching Cleland over the years, recapping a stellar high school athletic career that included: two-time city champion in volleyball, including an OFSAA gold, city champion and OFSAA bronze medalist in basketball; three-time city champion in women’s doubles badminton; and a city championship and MVP honours for ultimate frisbee. The Grade 12 standout also competed as a high level gymnast, and played soccer, beach volleyball and touch football.
Despite being such a naturally gifted athlete, what stood out for Wesolowski was Cleland’s fierce competitiveness and ability to take over a game at both the offensive and defensive ends. Her intensity and determination were contagious and she was always the hardest working player on the floor, he noted.
Joining Cleland and her family for the official signing, Rams Coach Carly Clarke welcomed her to the “Ramily.” She spoke of Cleland’s drive to compete and improve on the basketball court, but also of her hard work in the classroom and contributions in the community. She added that Taite is a perfect fit for Ryerson’s program and is excited to help her continue to develop.
In other words of tribute, St. Mary’s Coach Rachel Hart added that St. Mary is proud to have had Cleland represent the Crusaders for the past four years.
“She has been a valuable member of many of our teams, but more importantly, of our school community.”
“We wish her the best of luck as she continues her journey at Ryerson, and are happy she will still be representing the blue and gold! Congratulations Taite!”