UPEI Women’s Basketball Panthers secure commitment from recruit Grace Walton
Charlottetown, PEI (April 25, 2023)—The UPEI Women’s Basketball Panthers are excited to welcome Grace Walton to their team for the 2023–24 season. The 18-year-old from Kentville, Nova Scotia, fits the mould of a defensive-minded player willing to take on any assignment.
Relentless, fearless, committed—these are just a few words to describe the UPEI Women’s Basketball team’s approach to playing defence, an aspect of the game head coach Matt Gamblin demands a lot from his players. Since he joined the Panthers in 2018, his teams have been at or near the top in every defensive category. So, when he is recruiting prospects, he makes defence a priority rather than an afterthought.
“Grace is gritty, and that’s a trait we actively try and recruit at UPEI. She also brings athleticism at the wing spot and an ability to really get down and guard,” Gamblin said. “Her toughness translates very well with our style of play, and we are looking to her to bring lots of toughness and competitiveness.”
When asked about her strengths as a basketball player, defence was the first thing Walton mentioned.
“My greatest strength as a player would be my defensive abilities. I have always been known as a strong and quick defender,” she said. “UPEI has a very defence-first, fast-paced approach, so I believe my playing style will complement that.”
Walton also possesses a strong offensive skillset. She is aggressive with the ball, often attacking the basket with her size and strength. A big part of her game is her ability to create offence off the drive and give her teammates more efficient scoring opportunities.
In her final game with the Northeast Kings Education Centre Titans, Walton scored 27 points en route to capturing the high school’s second consecutive provincial title.
Before that, she was selected to play on the under-17 Nova Scotia team and was a starter at nationals. A week later, she joined the Nova Scotia Canada Games team as an underager competing in Niagara.
“Grace plays well in the drive and kick game and brings it all the time,” Gamblin said. “She’s a great athlete and has all the intangibles to be a strong contributor to the team.”
Walton hopes that success follows her to UPEI, where the team feels they can win an AUS title.
“I really like the dynamic of this team,” Walton said. “I’ve watched the team play many times over the past season, and I feel I will fit in well with their playing and coaching styles.”
UPEI Athletics and Recreation