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Montana Lady Griz sign 5-foot-9 New Zealand guard Kavanah Lene

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Posted at 4:36 PM, May 21, 2024

MISSOULA — The Montana women's basketball program on Tuesday announced the signing of Kavanah Lene, a 5-foot-9 guard from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Lene, who was named to the All-Star 5 at last fall’s Oceania Championship, has competed in locales as far-reaching as Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (Basketball Without Borders Asia) and Atlanta, Georgia (NBA Academy Women’s Games).

She will give Montana two freshmen for next season. The Lady Griz signed Avery Waddington from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in November.

“I chose Montana because of the strong faith community and the amazing coaching staff,” Lene stated in a press release. “The program and the team culture that the Lady Griz hold is one that will look after me not only on the court but off the court as well.”

Lady Griz coach Brian Holsinger, who has traveled to Australia for recruiting purposes numerous times in his coaching career, was tipped off to Lene last fall. Montana’s coaches were in conversation with her by December.

“Her video really popped out to me as someone who is versatile and has a lot of upside,” Holsinger state in UM's release. “Her athleticism stood out right away. She can really jump, she can shoot the 3, she can get to the rim and block shots. She can do a little bit of everything. Her all-around ability is really high-level.”

“She is a perfect fit from a cultural standpoint. She comes from a really good family that has strong values,” said Holsinger. “It wasn’t just about playing. She is excited about being part of the culture we’ve established here. She was the perfect find for us. She’ll fit in perfectly.”