Video Spotlight - Janelle Traber

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Janelle Traber went to high school a mere 20 kilometres away from Trinity Western University.

But it took two years and a 2240 km round trip through Lethbridge. Alta. before she finally arrived on the Glover Road campus in Langley.

Traber grew up in Abbotsford, B.C. and, like so many eventual Spartans, went to MEI (Mennonite Educational Institute). But for the 5-foot-9 second-year guard, her path to TWU took a little more time, and distance, than many others.

Coming out of high school in 2008, Traber was recruited, largely by then University of Lethbridge assistant coach Krista Heidinger, to play Pronghorns and quickly jumped at the chance to move to Alberta.

“I always wanted to go away from home,” Traber said. “It was always something I wanted to do. And after I took a tour of the Lethbridge campus, I figured, why not do something a little different.”

In Traber’s first, and what would turn out to be only, year with Lethbridge, she averaged 2.0 points per game in 8.8 minutes per game. But in the summer following her first season, Heidinger tragically had passed away just four days after giving birth to their third child.

Soon after, and with a number of other unforeseen circumstances in play, Traber decided to leave the team and, after the 2009 fall semester, come home to take some time away from the game.

“I revaluated what I needed to do and what my life was all about,” said Traber, who is studying psychology at TWU. “It was good for me to have that time away from the game to realize things I had forgot from when I was younger. When you’re younger you just love the sport and when you get older, it gets fuzzy.
“I refocused on God and basketball and then Cheryl [Jean-Paul, TWU women’s basketball coach] came and spots opened up [at TWU] and here I am.”

Upon arriving at TWU, it didn’t take long for Traber to take over one of the two starting guard positions in the Spartans line-up. What did take a little longer was for her to find her groove.

And she didn’t find it as a starter. It took until she began coming into games off the bench before things started clicking.

“The difference from the bench is I’m able to observe the game more,” Traber said. “I can see what my check is doing and come in with ideas about how to defend my guard and beat her off the dribble, whereas with starting, you have to adjust very quickly to situations.”

Since being used as a bench player, Traber’s minutes have stayed relatively the same – she’s averaging 22.8 minutes per game – but her production his risen. In the last three games, she’s averaged 10.3 points per game including a recent game against Alberta in which she went four for six from three-point range.

“It’s been getting better,” said Traber who is an all hustle all the time type of player. “It’s more about settling into the environment here. Taking a year off was hard so I’m getting reintroduced to the CIS and the speed and intensity that it brings.”

And now that she’s got going, the future is
bright and this is just the beginning.

With three more years of eligibility beyond this year, she’s got a long road, full of potential, ahead of her at TWU.

It took Traber two years and a lot of mileage to get here but now that she’s a Spartan, she’s ready to take her and her team’s game to the next level.

Last Updated: 2010-12-03
Author: Mark Janzen