By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
The years between high school graduation and university convocation can be filled with change.
This is definitely true for Lindsay Panchan, who before becoming the Durham Lords’ top point-getter on the women’s basketball team, saw those changes take her across the world.
However, one thing didn’t change, and that is her love for the sport of basketball.
After graduating from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in 2010, Panchan moved east, picking up the ball at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. She would play two seasons with the Huskies before realizing that things in the classroom just weren’t working out for her.
The decision to leave would see her hop-scotch her way from Whistler to Australia and back again, all the while keeping herself in shape during her time away from the sport.
“Maybe two or three months after I decided to leave St. Mary’s, I realized I still loved the sport,” Panchan says. “I still have the ability to play, I still have the eligibility to play and I was just looking kind of for which program would fit in with my lifestyle.”
The final decision would see her return to Durham Region and be accepted as part of Durham College’s sport management program.
“It’s just been nice being in the community and being able to be near family and friend and play basketball for people,” she says. However, the switch did come with a bit of an adjustment.
“I didn’t know what to expect competition wise, going across Ontario, how the basketball would differ from university in the east coast and to college in Ontario,” she says, noting the play is a lot more physical on the Ontario collegiate circuit.
With that said, neither the adjustment nor her time away from the game seem to be slowing her down.
Panchan currently leads the Lords with over 25 points per game (PPG), and averages about 30 minutes on the court each night. In 17 games this season, Panchan has recorded a staggering 439 points, making her Durham’s top scorer by a long shot, with Kayla Marshall behind Panchan with 156. Those numbers are not only best on the team, but also top in the OCAA, where Panchan holds the lead ahead of her nearest competitor Jesseca Brown from Redeemer College with 396.
Her success has also seen her earn OCAA all-Canadian awards in back-to-back seasons.
“Personally, I feel like I can improve for the rest of the game, but it’s going well,” Panchan says.
This past weekend, the Lords fell to the St. Clair Saints in the OCAA qualifying match, despite a strong comeback effort. It`s the second straight year the Saints have eliminated the Lords from contention.
And while Panchan says any team would always love to be first, going into the end of the season, Panchan told The Express that she likes how far the team has come in her two years on the roster.
“The biggest thing is we’ve improved from my first year being here,” she says. “It’s the fact that we’re doing better, which is making me happy, but there’s still a lot of games left, a lot of time left, either to do well or not do well.”
Now, with the season wrapped up, Panchan will be moving on, and while her future is uncertain, she says her time at Durham has been a tremendous boost.
“I’ve been striving compared to my other years,” she says. Panchan is currently taking the third year option with the sport management program after picking up an internship with the Lords’ athletic department.
“My goal is to continue to play basketball afterwards, and if I’m not going to be playing basketball, either coaching, personal training, getting my agent certification, just moving further in this world of basketball,” she says.