In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.
This grad played professional basketball in Australia and Finland. Now she’s finding ways to marry her love for sport and social work.
Jennifer Mathurin (Science, 2013) played basketball for three years during her time at Champlain College Saint-Lambert. After Cegep, her passion for the sport took her to the U.S. on an athletic scholarship and then to Finland and Australia to play pro.
Her memories of Champlain are tied to her time with the Cavaliers and the hours spent training and dominating the court.
“I have a lot of good memoires attached to sports,” she said.
Mathurin’s skills brought her the chance to play Division 1 basketball for North Carolina State University where she completed a bachelor’s in social work.
Her star continued to rise after University as she was hired to play pro basketball for the Vimpelin Veto in Finland in 2017.
“The women’s basketball scene is bigger overseas. Bigger than what people think,” she said.
After four months, Mathurin went to play with Gladstone Port City Power in Australia.
She might have continued playing pro basketball abroad but Mathurin injured her Achilles tendon and had to hang up her jersey.
Wanting to continue her studies, Mathurin completed a Master’s in social work from NC State and worked as a referee.
When the pandemic hit, she returned to Quebec and started working at a high school in Quebec City as an assistant coach and counsellor with the women’s basketball team.
Mathurin approached the role as a continuation of her work both in sports and in social work, providing support for young athletes on and off the court.
When she saw that Bishop’s University was looking for an associate coach in women’s basketball specializing in wellness, she applied right away.
“It was a perfect combination for me,” she said.
Mathurin said that in the U.S., there are more resources available for athletes in the realm of wellness mental health including teams that have dedicated sports psychologists and social workers.
“I think it’s going to grow in Canada because there’s a need. There’s a lot of student athletes and pro athletes who need it,” she said.
“I would like to speed up things more in Canada so that field is nationally recognized,” she said.
Mathurin’s plans changed in 2022 when her 19-year-old brother Bennedict Mathurin was drafted to the NBA to play for the Indiana Pacers.
In a recent interview, Bennedict told reporters that his sister was his “idol” growing up.
“She always pushed me and she was always better than me, obviously, because she was older and stronger than me. But she always pushed me to be better than her and she kept me on a straight line for me to succeed in life,” he told CBC News.
Mathurin is now living in Indiana with her brother to help support him during this transition.
Mathurin’s advice for current students and recent grads: “Young me would want to hear to be more confident in herself and believe that if you want to achieve something, you actually can. I know it sounds cliché, but if you put your mind to it you really can do it. What you put in the universe will come back to you.”