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Burnaby Native Making it Rain South of the Border

Anyone who has seen Lauren Bondi play basketball can tell that she is a student of the game. Precise in her movement and decision making, Lauren made it look as if her success in the difficult game of basketball came effortlessly. But nothing could be further from the truth. If you happened to walk into the Notre Dame Regional Secondary gym on a Saturday morning, you would witness all the hard work Lauren put into her game.

Whether she was expertly dribbling two or more basketballs, weaving through cones, or meticulously working on her footwork while taking hundreds of shots, the Burnaby native was committed to getting the most out of her 5’4 frame. When asked about his daughter, Gino Bondi (a longtime coach and basketball official in BC) would joke, “She doesn’t have genes on her side physically, but she’s got the fire.” The elder Bondi fondly remembers the moment when, at 11 years-old, his daughter decided she wanted to be the best. “She borrowed my ‘Better Basketball’ DVD set and studied all of them.” Lauren harnessed that passion, hard work, and commitment and earned herself an opportunity to play basketball for the Pioneers of Smith College.

Smith College, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is one of the largest women’s colleges in the US, boasting a diverse student body from 68 different countries. Situated on the banks of the Connecticut River in Northampton, MA, this Liberal Arts College was founded at a time when there were few choices for young woman and is dedicated to ensuring that none of their students would be denied the opportunity to excel solely based on their sex.

As a dedicated high school student, the opportunity to pursue a Science Degree in an environment where inquisitive students and nurturing instructors collaborated on the educational journey inspired a young Bondi to leave offers from Canadian Universities behind and pursue the opportunity to study and play south of the border. Presently studying Neuroscience (achieving Dean’s List recognition with a 3.88 GPA), Lauren has transformed from a quiet student who was “unafraid to try new moves on the basketball court,” to a young woman who (as she puts it) is “comfortable sharing [her] thoughts and ideas” with her classmates. According to Bondi, the small class sizes and intimate nature of her study has given her the strength to “open [herself] up for interpretation, analysis, and criticisms.” This newfound courage and voice has translated to her oncourt performance.

Now, in her Junior year, Lauren is using her voice to make noise on the basketball court. Averaging 16.4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, Lauren has gained national attention as a lights out shooter. As one of nine athletes nominated as the “Top Sharpshooter” in D3 Women’s Basketball, Lauren’s amazing 66.7% from beyond the arc has placed her at the front runner in a competition that has players representing all regions of the country. This little ball-of-fire from Burnaby, BC has set the nation ablaze and reaffirming the notion that, no matter how big or small you are, if you put in work, you can be successful at the highest levels.

Congrats and good luck Lauren. The BC basketball community is proud of what you’ve accomplished. For the opportunity to support Lauren in her quest to be recognized, click on the link below and vote. BC Sports Hub appreciates your continued support of amateur athletics in the province.

Written By: Winston Brown

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