Article reposted from Herald Sports
After 11 years of schooling behind her and countless examinations and preparatory sessions, Mary Lalancette was able to find a perfect landing spot for her talenets.
Graduating from Dalhousie University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, the 29-year-old quickly vaulted into a career as an athletic therapist post-graduation.
In 2011, she caught the eye of Canada Basketball’s brass and started working as an intern. Since then she’s been involved with the senior men’s national team, development team and cadet and junior rosters.
That marriage has allowed Lalancette to travel to the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates for various international events. Most recently Lalancette was in Formosa, Argentina, for the under-16 (U16) FIBA Americas Championships in mid-June.
Canada came away with the silver medal; losing to the U.S. in a surprisingly lopsided 111-60 final. But in the process the team did qualify for the 2018 U17 Basketball World Cup.
For Lalancette, it was her second time gracing Argentinian soil through the organization.
“I was actually just speaking about this with someone the other day. I get the chance to see different countries and often times we’re going to places you usually wouldn’t be travelling to as a tourist,” said Lalancette, speaking from Toronto, Ont., a few days after landing on home soil.
“It’s made for some interesting encounters. I’ve met some very interesting people but having the opportunity to see the world by doing something that I love to do is an added bonus.”
In September, Lalancette starts year four of her five-year program to become an osteopathic manual practitioner at the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto.
As simply put as possible, the Prospect Bay native described her profession as “looking at how everything in the body operates and how it works together to encourage healing and functionality.”
She’s also a certified massage and athletic therapist but she knows her eventual path.
“After my kinesiology degree at Dal, I went to Sheridan College to study athletic therapy. I was introduced to some great (professors) and different people,” she said. “I knew I was going to go towards the osteopathy route when I was done with athletic therapy.”
That time, however, seems far from now.
With seven years and counting of experience with Canada Basketball, Lalancette, who also played competitive soccer and volleyball, has been named the lead therapist for the program’s youth development men’s programs.
Her current education is flexible enough that she is able to attend many of the summer events without a hitch.
“I work with Canada Basketball year-round but most of the international events come in the summertime. It’s no problem. I’m also working another full-time job.”
Joining the former Tiger on the recent Argentina trip was long-time St.F.X. bench boss Steve Konchalski, who has become a regular with the national team program.
The 40-plus year bench boss acted as a mentor coach to the club, and with Lalancette, the duo made up the lone Bluenosers to make the trip.
And with Canada Basketball’s recent upswing in play (currently ranked third in world youth men’s rankings) and seemingly only getting stronger, many more trips could be in the works.
“Normally, we get some time to sight-see but there wasn’t a lot of time this time around,” she said. “It was more back and forth to the gym, which is also fine . . . I’ll continue this until someone tells me not to anymore. I love it.”