For Olivier-Maxence Prosper, the teachings and experiences will not be only for himself as he inches nearer to a possible shot at his NBA dream.
They are additionally for the Montreal native to share together with his youthful sister, Cassandre, who’s embarking on a path she hopes results in the WNBA.
“Growing up, I used to be making an attempt to be one of the best function mannequin I will be for her,” he informed The Canadian Press. “All the experiences I went by way of, I simply assist her in order that she could possibly be higher, in order that her experiences could possibly be higher than mine.
“She’s my solely sibling and me and her are actually, actually shut and as an older brother, I simply need to do the whole lot I can to assist her basketball journey be one of the best it may be and to information her by way of that.”
Olivier-Maxence is a six-foot-eight, 230-pound junior ahead for the Marquette Golden Eagles, ranked sixteenth in NCAA Division I males’s basketball.
Prosper, quantity 12, dribbles the ball after a turnover through the second half of an NCAA faculty basketball recreation towards Providence on Jan. 30, 2022, in Providence, R.I. (Stew Milne/The Associated Press)
Cassandre, in the meantime, is a six-foot-two guard, who just lately joined the seventh-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish as a 2023 five-star recruit out of the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association’s Capital Courts Academy.
Following in household’s footsteps
The two have been born and raised in Montreal, children to mom Guylaine and father Gaetan, who each performed basketball on the collegiate degree within the 90’s.
Guylaine performed one yr of Division I basketball at Manhattan College earlier than returning to compete for Concordia University, the place she was a two-time RSEQ all-star. Gaetan additionally performed at Concordia the place he was a three-time RSEQ all-star.
“My mother and father lived basketball, I stay basketball, so it has been nice,” Olivier-Maxence stated. “It’s nice to have mother and father and folks round you who performed the sport as a result of it makes [it] simpler for me rising up in an setting like that.”
Basketball was one thing that was “instilled” within the 20- and 17-year-olds from a really younger age.
“Honestly, I at all times joke round and say that I used to be brainwashed into enjoying basketball and loving basketball, however it’s nice,” Cassandre stated.
For Cassandre, nevertheless, her brother’s affect performed a significant function rising up.
“I feel the way in which I look as much as him, he was such an awesome participant on the courtroom, however the way in which he carried out himself off the courtroom simply made him so nice on the courtroom,” she stated.
“I feel what I like about him is that he at all times understood that I’m his little sister and I’m wanting as much as him. So no matter he did, he did it with the intention of, ‘I’ve somebody that I’m making an attempt to encourage,’ and he at all times did issues proper on the courtroom.”
High hopes for siblings
Marquette head coach Shaka Smart says that intention has performed a think about Olivier-Maxence’s breakout junior season.
The ahead is averaging a career-best 14.0 factors and 4.6 rebounds per recreation, each good for second on the crew.
“O-Max has actually labored. He’s been an on a regular basis man,” Smart stated. “Living within the fitness center, doing additional, spending time with a number of members of our program, getting higher and being very, very intentional in regards to the areas the place he must develop and desires to develop.
“He’s executed a terrific job using the experiences that he is had over his first couple of years of faculty. To be an older, extra assured, extra mature participant this yr and that does not simply occur.”
Prosper drives to the basket towards Seton Hall through the first half of an NCAA faculty basketball recreation in Newark, N.J. on Jan. 26, 2022. (Noah Okay. Murray/The Associated Press)
Olivier-Maxence was a four-star recruit from the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico, the place he performed his senior yr alongside Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin, additionally from Montreal. He then signed with Clemson earlier than transferring to Marquette for his sophomore season.
Before that, he moved to Chicago at 16 years previous, the place his journey south of the border began with Lake Forest Academy. His highschool in Blainville, Que., L’Académie Ste-Thérèse, didn’t have a basketball crew. He performed for a neighborhood Amateur Athletic Union crew, Brookwood Elite, earlier than looking for a brand new problem.
“That yr was actually nice for me as a result of it helped me mature a lot, not solely as a basketball participant, but additionally as a younger man leaving dwelling early,” he stated of Lake Forest Academy. “Having to stay by myself and actually begin maturing and being disciplined to do issues by myself.”
Cassandre additionally left Montreal and moved to Ottawa at 15 years previous to play for Capital Courts. There, she completed out her profession averaging a league-best 25.1 factors, whereas grabbing 13.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and a pair of.6 blocks per recreation and led the crew to its first ever OSBA championship in 2022. She was additionally named league and Final 8 MVP.
For Notre Dame head coach, Niele Ivey, a former WNBA participant and mom of Detroit Pistons rookie, Jaden Ivey, Cassandre’s expertise and potential are immense.
“I feel her expertise is program altering. The future is shiny for us together with her right here,” Ivey stated. “She’s type of getting herself acclimated to the collegiate recreation, however she makes a right away impression.
“I feel for us, she’s going to play an enormous function in what we do and that is thrilling for me.”