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Algoma Thunderbirds’ Karissa Kajorinne Signed to Professional League in Portugal 

Algoma U alumna and assistant basketball coach continues to lead successful basketball career

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON- July 21, 2022): The Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity athletics program’s very own Karissa Kajorinne has signed to play professionally in Portugal in the Liga Betclic Feminina. Kajorinne’s varsity basketball career began at AU during the 2012/2013 season. Her playing career continued over the span of five years. While at Algoma, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a certificate in Human Resources. She then moved on to play her final fifth year of eligibility at Lakehead whilst completing her Bachelor of Education. 

Her Algoma University basketball career proved to be very successful, winning Athlete of the Year in both 2016 and 2017, and in 2017, finishing her season with 542 points. Proving to be a dedicated player on the court, she also proved to be a leader. Not only was she the captain of her team in her final year, but she assisted with the Jr. Thunderbirds and Basketball Skills Summer Camp programs. She continued to be involved in the basketball community in Sault Ste. Marie by becoming the Assistant Coach of our women’s team.

“Karissa has been an amazing addition to our coaching staff over the last couple of years and has done a really great job of being a positive role model for our younger players, emulating what it takes to play at a high level,” shared Ryan Vetrie, Karissa’s former Coach and now colleague. As she makes her way overseas I believe she will continue to do so. It shows student-athletes that there are opportunities to play basketball after University. I am not surprised that Karissa got signed, as she still has that competitive drive to play the game. We are very happy that she is able to take this opportunity.”

Recently, Kajorinne participated in the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association (MWBA) along with her former teammate, Tiffany Reynolds. Kajorinne proved to be successful once again, achieving a game point average of 24.6. She led the league with 246 points. The MWBA provides women of high performance the opportunity to participate in a league sport again and highlights the importance of providing players with a chance to continue playing. 

After building her skills and expertise in the sport, it is no surprise that Kajorinne has now been signed to play professionally in Portugal in the Liga Betclic Feminina. She is the second female Algoma U Alumni to play in a professional league, following Marlee Ball. This is an amazing opportunity for Kajorinne and shows student-athletes what can be achieved when they continue to dedicate themselves to their sport. 

“Having an opportunity to continue playing is something I have always dreamed of doing so I am very excited that I am able to pursue something that I am so passionate about,” shared Kajorinne. “I do want to thank all of my teammates and coaches for the support over the years and for continuing to push me in my athletic conquests. I will miss my Thunderbird family as I have really enjoyed coaching at both the university and club level over the years but I hope to do them proud as I pursue my career overseas.” To read Karissa’s full statement, click here

Karissa will be leaving on August 28th to begin the next chapter of her career with the Olivais Futebol Clube in Coimbra Portugal. The season starts in October. For more information and to stay up to date with the league, you can visit https://olivaiscoimbra.clubeo.com/

The entire Thunderbird family is truly excited to see Karissa’s career unfold. She has become a role model for our entire community. Congratulations Karissa, your entire #AUFAM will be cheering you on! 

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