By Kelly Many Guns
Basketball is in her blood, and playing college ball in the future is something that Malayah Bruno, a Grade 10 student from the Siksika Nation is striving for. Malayah is an honour student attending St. Mary’s High School in Calgary. She’s 6’ in height and a starting centre for her high school basketball team. This year, she started basketball season by playing for the Calgary Selects Under 17 girls’ basketball team.
Calgary Selects coach Ray Raymond says Malayah is not only a good basketball player but also is developing herself into a fine athlete. “She is mentally tough, aggressive both offensively and defensively,” Raymond said. “Malayah averages 12 to 14 points a game, 8 for 10 from the field, and I always encourage her to shoot a lot.” This season, the Calgary Selects played in the Fall League final while Malayah was sick with the flu. “Well I guess she wanted to play so much that we allowed her, so basically every 30 seconds she had to come off the court,” said Raymond. “We lost in overtime by a close score of 65-63, but I was quite impressed with her ability to play under the condition she was in.” Raymond says Malayah is popular with her fellow teammates and she is willing to sacrifice for the success of the team. “From a coaching perspective, she’s young, and with time, she will develop into a great player.”
Malayah’s accomplishments include playing for Team Alberta’s Under 15 with a 4th place finish at the nationals in Winnipeg this past August, and she earned MVP Basketball and Cross Country Awards in Jr. High. She made Honour Roll every year of Jr. High and 1st term High School and was elected to Student Council in Grade 9. Her favourite subjects are Biology and Physical Education, and she says her strengths are her athletic abilities. “Some of my other interests are playing volleyball, going to watch college games, and powwow dancing. I have been dancing fancy shawl since three years of age,” Malayah says. “I also like hanging out with friends, working out, music, and eating food—lots of it.” When she’s not watching her favourite NBA teams like Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and the LA Clippers, you’ll probably find her working out listening to Drake and Lil Wayne on her iPod. Malayah’s sport influences include her parents Lyle Bruno and Janelle McMaster, who were both basketball players themselves, as well as her sister, brother, aunties and uncles. With all her early success, the future looks bright for this young Blackfoot youth.