Banmann top female hoopster St. Mary’s standout tops high school coaches poll

Mia Banmann seems to have an unlimited passion for basketball.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/03/2022 (203 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mia Banmann seems to have an unlimited passion for basketball.

She’ll play anywhere, anytime and, fortunately for the St. Mary’s Academy Flames, has the work ethic and endurance to log tons of court time.

Her coach, Jae Pangilinan, rarely takes her out of games and that’s mostly out of necessity. The Flames, you see, had only six healthy regulars left on their roster as they prepared for Thursday’s Provincial AAAA Varsity Girls Final Four at Garden City Collegiate.

MIKE SUDOMA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS St. Mary Flames guard Emilia Banmann has averaged 26 points, 18 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 5.8 blocks and two assists per game.

St. Mary’s, ranked No. 7 in Manitoba, faces the No. 3 Westwood Warriors in one semifinal at 7:15 p.m. The top-rated Dakota Lancers meet the No. 5 Sisler Spartans in another semi at 5 p.m.

“It’s going to be a hard game and it’s going to be very competitive,” Banmann said Tuesday. “We have low numbers still so we just have to try to stay out of foul trouble and make sure we attack them.”

But Banmann, a 6-1 post/guard, is more than just a workhorse.

MIKE SUDOMA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS St. Mary’s Academy Flames’ Emilia Banmann is a versatile player who is strong at both ends of the court.

She has averaged 26 points, 18 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 5.8 blocks and two assists per game and her size and skillset helped to earn her the top spot in the Free Press coaches poll honouring the province’s top high school varsity girls basketball players.

“She’s quick enough to be on the outside — point guards aren’t going by her really and in the post, she’s long and mobile… She’s a threat anywhere,” said Pangilinan.

“She has a decent-three point shot and we’re working on that more this year. She’s the most dangerous at mid-post because she has that high elbow Dirk Nowitzki shot and she can go left or right. She’s actually a lefty, which is really deadly.”

“She’s (Mia Banmann) quick enough to be on the outside– point guards aren’t going by her really and in the post, she’s long and mobile… She’s a threat anywhere.” – Jae Pangilinan, coach

Playing a full 40-minute game has become the norm for Banmann, whose younger sister, Ava, also plays for the Flames.

The squad lost post Sara Bergen to a broken finger in the provincial quarter-finals, forcing Pangilinan to call up three players from the school’s junior varsity team for the Final Four.

“It’s definitely tough but I think on my team we have so few people that everybody kind of has their own role to play and I think mine is to be in there for that whole time and be that base of the team,” said Banmann. “I kind of just have to push through it, even when I’m tired.”

THE FREE PRESS’S TOP 10

This list was compiled with voting from a panel of high school coaches:

1. Mia Banmann, post/guard

School: St. Mary’s Flames, Grade 12

Profile: A tough match-up. Banmann has guard-like abilities and towers over most opponents. Has great touch around the rim but can also shoot mid-range. Her long frame is a big asset on the defensive end. She alters shots and grabs rebounds.

This list was compiled with voting from a panel of high school coaches:

1. Mia Banmann, post/guard

School: St. Mary’s Flames, Grade 12

Profile: A tough match-up. Banmann has guard-like abilities and towers over most opponents. Has great touch around the rim but can also shoot mid-range. Her long frame is a big asset on the defensive end. She alters shots and grabs rebounds.

2. Kyu Fust, forward/guard

School: Dakota Lancers, Grade 11

Profile: A gifted athlete that runs the floor well. Has an explosive first step on the right-hand side and can get to the hoop with ease. She has developed a consistent jumpshot and has great offensive awareness in the open court.

3. Ayva Khan, guard/forward

School: Vincent Massey Trojans, Grade 12

Profile: A dynamic guard with good range and an explosive first step. Athletic frame leads to multiple offensive rebounds and she often pushes the ball in transition. A threat in the paint with good touch around the basket.

4. Raia Guinto, guard/forward

School: Sisler Spartans, Grade 12

Profile: A dynamic offensive player with an explosive first step. Has an excellent pull-up jumper and has good range from the three-point line. Her long athletic frame helps lead to turnovers in the open court.

5. Izzi Fust, guard/forward

School: Dakota Lancers, Grade 10

Profile: Secondary guard with a keen mind for the game and natural anticipation. Skill set includes ability to handle the ball, long-distance shooting range and ability to score at the rim. She thrives on the defensive end. Her long frame helps alter shots and she’s adept at picking off and deflecting passes in the open court.

6. Amira Lawrence, forward

School: Garden City Fighting Gophers, Grade 10

Profile: Stands 5-foot-10 with a wingspan of over six feet. Athletic ability helps to creates havoc in the full court and her agility helps deflect passes which helps lead to easy transition points. She can attack the rim in a variety of ways.

7. Riya Donnelly, guard

School: Daniel McIntyre Maroons, Grade 12

Profile: Excellent defender and rebounder. A dynamic scorer, she does the little things to ensure her team’s success.

8. Alyssa Doneza, guard

School: Sisler Spartans, Grade 11

Profile: A point guard who is unafraid of taking on bigger opponents. An excellent combination of speed and precision when attacking the rim. She likes to push pace and break down defences before find teammates for open shots.

9. Jasia Hayden, forward

School: Dakota Lancers, Grade 11

Profile: Highly skilled lefty with a fearless approach. Embraces contact scores with pace and willing to do what it takes and has an excellent shooting stroke but is also a very strong offensive rebounder.

10. Anna Miko, forward/guard

School: Westwood Warriors, Grade 11

Profile: A tough match-up on the perimeter as she has good court awareness and is dangerous cutting to the rim. Has a good jump shot and can hit the three-point when left open. Her long frame gives teams trouble: she is usually tasked with guarding the other team’s point guard.

Honourable mentions: Treyah Paquette, Glenlawn Lions; Madeline Wynne, Daniel McIntyre Maroons; Delaney Galera, Westwood Warriors; Hannah Olugbodi, Fort Richmond Centurions; Darya Rom, Dakota Lancers

While Banmann has devoted herself to basketball, she was once also a high-level taekwondo competitor and trained with Master Jae Park and his daughter, Olympian Skylar Park.

“I’m no longer doing taekwondo but in terms of my athleticism and my footwork and my discipline, both on and off the court, I think has definitely been shaped from taekwondo and I wouldn’t have been the basketball player that I am without taekwondo,” she said.

A Grade 12 student, Banmann recently committed to the University of British Columbia where she will play for the Thunderbirds and major in neuroscience.

Originally she planned to pursue an NCAA Division 1 scholarship and hoped to attend an Ivy League school, but limited play during the pandemic reduced her exposure to American recruiters.

“When I do move on to university, I plan to play the stretch forward position — playing in the mid range but also being able to pop out on the outside and attack hard and shoot from there,” said Banmann.

Banmann should also have playing opportunities outside of the U Sports level.

“I’m no longer doing taekwondo but in terms of my athleticism and my footwork and my discipline, both on and off the court, I think has definitely been shaped from taekwondo and I wouldn’t have been the basketball player that I am without taekwondo.” – Mia Banmann

She’s already taken part in some Basketball Canada events, and the Filipino national team, upon realizing her mom, Rachel, was born in the Phillipines, has reached out inquiring about her availability.

Her dad, Dr. Darin Banmann, who specializes in sports medicine, is 6-9 and once played high school hoops at Miles Macdonnell. Mia plans to keep her international playing options open.

“I’ve never seen a kid with this kind of skill set,” said Pangilinan. “We call her our point forward. She rebounds the ball and she’s not allowed to outlet it. She has to bring it up and take two dribbles and then push it to the corners as fast as she can.”

ON TAP: The provincial AAAA varsity boys semifinals are also scheduled for Thursday, with the No. 1 John Taylor Pipers taking on the No. 4 Garden City Fighting Gophers at 5 p.m. and the No. 2 St. Paul’s Crusaders facing the No. 3 Sisler Spartans at 7:15 p.m. Both games are at Maples Collegiate.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

MIKE SUDOMA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS “When I do move on to university, I plan to play the stretch forward position — playing in the mid range but also being able to pop out on the outside and attack hard and shoot from there,” said Emilia Banmann. Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press St Mary Flames guard, Emilia Banmann takes a jump shot during practice at St Mary’s Academy Tuesday evening. March 15, 2022
MIKE SUDOMA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS A Grade 12 student, Emilia Banmann recently committed to the University of British Columbia where she will play for the Thunderbirds and major in neuroscience.
Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

Report Error Submit a Tip