Basketball a family affair for the rookie captain
Building a sports program is a futile effort without cornerstones for the foundation. Luckily for first-year head coach Warren Williams and George Brown women’s basketball, Kiyann Grimaldo looks to be one such foundational piece.
The rookie forward trails only third-year guard Tianna Sullivan for the team lead in minutes per game, average points and rebounds per game. Grimaldo’s emergence means veteran players like Sullivan and Angel Mbikay can share the load, and opposing teams must now game plan for multiple Huskies options.
“She just has a natural feel for the post game,” said point guard Aprille Deus, who also remarked upon Grimaldo’s passion and communication. “That’s rare to find, with her drop-steps, her mid-range shooting. To me, she’s a total package in terms of a post player.”
Having played since she was eight, Grimaldo’s basketball story begins with her father, Ed Grimaldo.
“My dad, he’s been playing basketball since he was a kid,” said Kiyann Grimaldo. “So I’d always come with him to basketball practices, and he’d always push me to go to house league and then rep. He takes me to all of my practices.”
It was with a smile that Ed Grimaldo admitted how girl or boy, his first born was going to play basketball. Citing her wealth of experience but still somewhat surprised at the swift adjustment, he said his daughter is “embracing the challenge” of being both student and varsity athlete.
Enrolled in George Brown’s business administration – marketing program, Kiyann Grimaldo was well-prepared by Ajax’s Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School, which possesses a proud basketball tradition. Grimaldo only had positive things to say about her time with the Notre Dame Cougars, thankful for the extra work her high school coaches did to help prep her for the college game.
The praise went both ways, with Notre Dame head coach Rose Booker not the least bit surprised at her former student’s collegiate success.
“She was one of the most committed athletes that we’ve had here at Notre Dame,” said Booker. “She played for me every year, and she was always at practice, always at games, always dedicated, could always count on her. When we needed her, she was there.”
She may already be playing a prominent role, but Grimaldo sees another possible level to her game. Just as she plans to lean on the coaching staff to help improve her dribbling and three-point shooting, there’s clear confidence they can lean on her.
“I believe that she’s the future of the team,” said Williams. “She’s just so insightful as far as her input into what we’re doing. We’ve made her a captain already, just because of the leadership that she brings but also the energy that she brings; it’s infectious”.