Simon Now An Oak Hill Warrior
Published by Michael Henry on October 7, 2011
On October 1, 2011, the Oak Hill Academy Warriors added another Canadian to its Girls’ roster. Gwen Simon, a 6’6″ Center from David and Mary Thomson Collegiate in Scarborough, Ontario, has completed the jump to the Virginia prep school.
Chris Smalling, Simon’s Advantage Basketball rep team Coach, has a very good working relationship with Oak Hill Girls’ Head Coach, Mike Rodgers. And based on some unique circumstances, Smalling felt that this would be the right move, at the right time for Simon based on her opportunity to play against people her size. “This isn’t a move that I would normally recommend,” stressed Smallings, “but every situation is different.” When Simon was asked to think about why she decided to make this move, she said “I made the jump mostly to become someone better.”
It is a move that is all too common place on the boys’ side, with Canadian boys leaving in droves in a move that they feel would best provide them with the training and the competition in order to develop their game. But, the move is one that the Canadian girls’ side does with far more apprehension. “With the amount of exposure and opportunities [via U.S. tournaments and Canadian based NCAA exposure events] that are currently available to my teams, for our players staying north of the border, is quite suitable. This move Gwen made is certainly the exception, not the norm. But in this case, it works for her. I hope she does well.”
When asked how she is enjoying her experience so far, she says “Things are good. Practices are intense but I’ll get used to it.” She also puts things into perspective when she says ”You gotta put in the work in order to get results.” Simon is a physical player that finds her home in the paint on both ends of the floor, while using her strength to establish position. With this move, amongst other improvements to her game, expect her to develop a more consistent finish around the glass, and ignite more of a hunger within her overall game.
She joins fellow Canadian, Taneesha Greaves (5’8″, G, 2013) from Winnipeg, MB, who is in her second year at the Academy.