Laeticia Amihere is a Canadian basketball player who, at the age of 15, became the first Canadian woman to dunk during a competitive game at the Boo Williams invitational tournament in April 2017. According to the ESPN website, she is currently ranked fourth nationally and second at her position in the 2019 class. Moreover, ESPN evaluations from spring recruiting events state that she is "explosively athletic", can anticipate passing lanes with "pogo-stick hops" and is able to defend "any position on the floor". Laeticia Amihere is all set to become the face of the Canadian women's senior basketball program, which is ranked fifth in the world. Since the video of her dunk went viral, she has received messages from former NBA greats like Shaquille O'Neal and Canadian hip-hop artist Drake, with the latter also following her on Instagram. A proud Canadian at heart, one of her longtime goals is to win a medal for Canada in the Olympics. She also wants to make her mark in the United States by winning the Final Four and a national championship.
Rise to Stardom
Laeticia Amihere first gained public attention in late April 2017 after she made a dunk at the Boo Williams invitational tournament, a premier annual basketball event in the United States. She was only 15 years old at the time and was playing for the Ontario under-17 team, when she collected the ball mid-court, moved towards the basket with a couple strides, and slammed the ball through the hoop for a dunk. It surprised everyone watching the game, who had anticipated a layup, and caused a mass frenzy in the stadium. What makes her dunk particularly special is that massive dunks are not very common in women's basketball, with only 16 dunks recorded from six players in the 21-year history of Women's National Basketball Association. As a result, coming from a 15-year-old, it instantly made international headlines. A video of her impressive dunk went viral and was covered by several news and sports outlets in the USA, including 'Bleacher Report', 'USA Today' and 'ESPN'. She was ranked No.2 among the top high-school college recruiting candidates of 2019 by the media. Moreover, with this dunk, she had become the first Canadian woman to dunk during a competitive game. Naturally, despite having about a year before her graduation, she began to get a lot of lucrative scholarship offers from dozens of top NCAA schools.
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While Laeticia Amihere earned widespread attention thanks to her dunk in early 2017, she has been dunking the basketball during practice matches since she was in the eighth grade. As such, she was quite amused by all the attention she was getting all of a sudden. However, for others, it was a truly remarkable feat. Lisa Thomaidis, the coach of Canada's senior woman's team, thought "It's a big deal" and included her in the Canadian senior side that participated in a five-game exhibition series in Spain and France in late May 2017.
Laeticia Amihere has been playing against girls three years older than her since she began playing internationally for Team Canada in 2015. She previously played in the 'Nike Cup' in July 2013; was a member of the Canadian U17 National Team in 2016; and participated in 'She's Got Game Classic' in December 2016 and in the 'Boo Williams Invitational' in April 2017. She was selected in FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball all-star team in 2017. Unfortunately, she suffered a complete tear of her anterior-cruciate ligament in her left knee, as well as a second-degree tear in the lateral-collateral ligament, while playing for her high school team in October 2017.
While such injuries are not uncommon among young women, it still made her playing during the 2018 season doubtful as she had to undergo surgery and was worried about the extent of rehabilitation. Thankfully, it didn't cause any major setback to her career as by mid-2018, she had began making official visits to universities she had shortlisted among the dozens scholarship offers she had received. The universities she has already visited include UCLA, UConn, Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas and Kentucky.
Laeticia Amihere was born on July 10, 2001 in Milton, Ontario, Canada. Her father is from the West African country of Ghana, while her mother hails from Ivory Coast, another West African country. She is proud of her African heritage and uses the social media handle '@_Theblackqueen_' to celebrate that. She is a student at King's Christian Collegiate, a private school in Oakville, and will graduate in the spring of 2019. Her first language is French, but she is equally fluent in English.