U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®‘s Inspire To Play Initiative

by Last updated Feb 29, 2024Baron Rings

Women’s Basketball Perspectives from the Heart of Windsor

U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports Uncover the Voices of the Lancers Women’s Basketball Team Through Baron®‘s ‘Inspire To Play’.

U of Windsor Women's Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®'s Inspire To Play Initiative, Mariah Chandler

U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports: 2024 University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball Team

February 28, 2024 – Join us as we get a front row seat to learn more about U of Windsor Women’s Basketball players & coaches alongside Bob Bellacicco from Powerplay Sports.

In this exclusive series of interviews, we delve into the experiences and perspectives of four remarkable individuals associated with the University of Windsor’s Women’s Basketball team.

From the strategic insights of Mariah Chandler, the Lead Assistant Coach, to the transformative leadership of Chantal Vallee, the Head Coach, and the on-court reflections of players Reine Ndome and Isabella Anes.

These conversations provide an insightful glimpse into the triumphs, challenges, and inspirations that shape the dynamic landscape of women’s collegiate basketball and share their insights on the journeys of women in sports.

A Conversation with Mariah Chandler, Lead Assistant Coach

In an exclusive interview conducted by Powerplay Sports’ Bob Bellacicco, Mariah Chandler, the Lead Assistant Coach for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball team, shared her insights on the journey of women in sports, the evolving landscape, and the inspiring stories that continue to shape the narrative.

Breaking Barriers:
Mariah reflected on the historical challenges that women have overcome to reach their current standing in sports. Drawing from her experiences in the United States, she highlighted the transformative journey from three-on-three basketball to the contemporary five-on-five format. Despite the hurdles, she emphasized the importance of taking pride in the progress made.

“Just seeing how long it’s taken us to get where we are. But being proud of those moments that’s what I think about. “

The Beauty of Progress:
Expressing optimism, Mariah acknowledged the beauty in the ongoing advancements within women’s sports. She emphasized that while there is still a long way to go, the collective movement forward is what truly matters. Mariah noted the positive trend in talent enhancement and the growing interest of young women in sports, citing the impact of role models like Sabrina Ionescu and Caitlin Clark.

“The talent is getting better, these young ladies are looking to get into sports, and I think that’s a big thing as well. Growing up a lot of young ladies were not looking to get into sports and now you have people that are looking up to Sabrina Ionescu who’s with the New York Liberty or you have Caitlin Clark who’s with Iowa.”

U of Windsor Women's Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®'s Inspire To Play Initiative, Mariah Chandler

Mariah Chandler, Lead Assistant Coach for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

I think it’s a beautiful thing of what we’re doing and we still have a long way to go, but we’re moving forward and that’s what matters.

Inspiration Across Genders:
Mariah celebrated the collaboration between male and female athletes, pointing out the influence of male figures like Steph Curry in inspiring female players. She highlighted the importance of recognizing both male and female allies in the journey towards equality, emphasizing the continued need for inspiration and support.

“They’re looking at him [Steph Curry] and saying like “This is someone that is playing that’s close to my height and is playing at a high level with him.” So even when we’re talking about women in sports, we can still be inspired by the men on the side because we do have allies. But we still have the female allies that we have and it’s a great thing to definitely recognize but also just continue to inspire.”

Personal Journey and Aspirations:
Sharing her unexpected venture into working for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, Mariah acknowledged the doors that opened for her in a male-dominated field. Reflecting on her experiences in the front office, coaching the G-League team, and working as an advanced scout, she expressed her aspiration to continue breaking boundaries in the future.

“I spent 2 years in the front office and then I spent a year actually coaching the G-League team and I spent another year working as an advanced Scout. And that was something that I don’t think if we weren’t where we are today, that opportunity would have never happened.”

Breaking Gender Boundaries:
Mariah discussed her willingness to challenge gender norms in coaching. Drawing inspiration from trailblazers like Kara Lawson and Lindsay Gottlieb, who have successfully coached in the NBA, she emphasized the importance of dismantling barriers based on gender, age, and background.

“You have so many women of different ages of different colors, that have different backgrounds, that have played at a high level, who have not played at a high level. Making those walls kind of separate and open up those doors that we’ve never really thought that we can actually go through. And so seeing them only in as far as me to do it.”

Mariah concluded the interview with a powerful message of self-empowerment, urging women to believe in their capabilities and pursue their aspirations with unwavering positivity. She emphasized the limitless potential of women in sports and the need to continue opening doors for future generations.

This insightful conversation with Mariah Chandler not only sheds light on the progress made but also serves as a source of inspiration for aspiring female athletes and those striving to make their mark in the world of sports.

Explore the complete interview with Mariah Chandler below.

Powerplay Sports: Inspire To Play, Mariah Chandler – A Baron® Championship Rings initiative puts the spotlight on Girls And Women In Sports. Windsor Lancers Lead Assistant Coach Miah Chandler shares her thoughts on how sports is helping women have an impact. U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports – YouTube

Chantal Vallée: Championing Change and Empowering Women Through Basketball

In a candid and inspiring interview with Powerplay Sports’ Bob Bellacicco, Chantal Vallée, the Head Coach for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball team, shared her remarkable journey, highlighting pivotal moments and the transformative power of women in sports.

Dreams and Beginnings:
Chantal reflected on her early days in Windsor, where she took on the role of a university team coach for the first time. She vividly described the anticipation and excitement of her first game, surprised with the reality of a nearly empty arena. Over the years, her dedication and vision led the team to unprecedented heights, culminating in the hosting of their 2011 National Championships, a moment etched in her memory.

“I will always remember the first game that was here. It was important for me [since] it was my profession. So I take time to do my hair and my makeup…I buy a suit and I’m all ready for this first game. When I came in there, this is not an exaggeration, there were 15 fans in the stands and they were the parent or the friends of the players. I remember looking at this and said “oh wow like this is kind of…”

Chantal pointed out that, as per the Fieldhouse sign displaying a capacity of 2,200 people, the basketball court was noticeably vacant.

U of Windsor Women's Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®'s Inspire To Play Initiative, Mariah Chandler

Chantal Vallée, Head Coach for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

I’m very proud of all the Championships that we have won here and all of the athletes that have become professional athletes…but I’m equally proud of all the other women that have become firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, chiropractors, teachers and stay-at-home moms.

Proud Moments and Community Impact:
Chantal expressed immense pride in the growth of the program, recalling the emotional reactions of fans when they clinched the Championship. The team’s impact on the community was profound, with fans crying tears of joy, realizing the influence of young women in their 18 to 25 years old bracket. The success story was not just about victories but about creating a legacy that touched lives beyond the basketball court.

“A proud moment would be bringing this 6 years later when we host our first National Championship. Not only did we have to open more [space] and create about 3,000-3,200 seats, but it was sold out. It was roaring and screaming. I couldn’t even walk without people touching me and I thought that was an unbelievable moment for women in sport. That was a memory I will never forget.”

The Rise of Women in Sports:
Addressing the current landscape, Chantal emphasized the spectacular marketability of women in sports. She highlighted the increasing investment in women’s sports, for example the rising season ticket sales for the PWHL. As a staunch advocate for women’s sports, Chantal sees it as a platform that not only brings confidence to young women but also elevates the profile of females in leadership roles.

“They bring more confidence to young women, they rise the profile of female in leadership. There’s a greater understanding on how women maybe compete and can be rough and can be tough. Can be wanting to win and that’s an aspect that wasn’t always very publicized or known about. It’s such an important cause.”


Chantal emphasized that the ongoing presence of women in sports serves as a demonstration to the media, corporations, and young women, reinforcing the inherent worth and value of females participating in competitive sports.

Life Beyond Championships:
Chantal expressed equal pride in the diverse paths her athletes have taken post-graduation. While celebrating the professional success of those who became athletes, she equally commended those who pursued careers as firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, teachers, and even stay-at-home moms. Chantal believes that the life skills developed through sports contribute significantly to the success of her former athletes in various fields.

“Those life skills have helped some of them become professional in the sport but others become leaders.”

Sport as a Catalyst for Change:
Chantal shared a powerful example of a former athlete who became a nursing floor lead at the age of 28. This story exemplifies how the skills learned through sports – discipline, time management, pressure handling, leadership, and respect for authority – transcend the court and become valuable assets in the professional world. Chantal concluded with a passionate affirmation of the importance of sports in shaping confident, resilient, and successful women.

Chantal Vallée’s interview not only provides a glimpse into the achievements of the University of Windsor’s Women’s Basketball program but also underscores the profound impact that women in sports can have on individuals and communities, extending far beyond the realms of victory.

Explore the complete interview with Chantal Vallée below.

Powerplay Sports: Inspire To Play, Chantal Vallée – Chantal Vallée is featured in part two of the Inspire to Play series presented by Baron® Championship Rings. U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports – YouTube

Reine Ndome’s Journey and Insights into Women in Sports

In a compelling interview conducted by Powerplay Sports’ Bob Bellacicco, Reine Ndome, Guard for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball team, shared her impactful journey, shedding light on the significance of promoting sports for young women and the evolving landscape of women in sports.

Roots in Cartierville, Montreal:
Reine began by describing her upbringing in Cartierville, Montreal, a neighborhood rich with immigrants. She credited her High School coaches for actively promoting sports for young women. Attending her high school, Reine appreciated the dedicated efforts in skill development and creating opportunities for girls, with a strong focus on empowering women to reach their highest potential.

“They were really great there, helping develop skills for us, and creating opportunities for young women. The focus was really on women to get us as far as possible.”

Staying Connected During the Pandemic:
Reflecting on the challenges brought by COVID-19, Reine shared her experience of transitioning to online platforms. Despite the distance imposed by the pandemic, she remained committed to staying connected to basketball. Engaging with social media, Reine observed how women athletes worldwide adapted to the situation, finding innovative ways to continue their training at home.

“I was looking at a lot of women trying to find ways to stay connected to their sport, by working out at home.”

U of Windsor Women's Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®'s Inspire To Play Initiative, Mariah Chandler

Chantal Vallée, Head Coach for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

For me that’s what’s important, we can do as much as men.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Sports:
Reine highlighted the growing inclusivity in sports, emphasizing that some sports are not specific to one gender. Drawing parallels to the professional world, she mentioned the increased presence of women in traditionally male-dominated fields like firefighting and policing. Reine noted that sports like rugby are breaking gender barriers, with women being as accepted in rugby as they are in football.

“It’s the same thing even in rugby, it’s similar to football and women are as much accepted in rugby as in football.:

The Significance of Inspire To Play:
Expressing the importance of initiatives like Inspire To Play, Reine emphasized the competitive landscape for young girls today and the increased media coverage in both the United States and Canada. She stressed the message that women can excel in sports just as much as men, highlighting the significance of providing young girls with the belief that they can achieve anything.

“I think it’s important because for young girls nowadays, the competition is getting really impressive and there’s a lot of media coverage in the States. There’s more media coverage in Canada, women can do it too.”

In Reine Ndome’s interview, we glimpse into a narrative that extends beyond the basketball court – a narrative of empowerment, breaking gender norms, and the vital role sports play in shaping the confidence and capabilities of young women. Her story stands as a testament to the ongoing progress in women’s sports and the inspiration it brings to the next generation of athletes.

Explore the complete interview with Reine Ndome below.

Powerplay Sports:  Inspire To Play, Reine Ndome – Part 3 in a series called Inspire To Play by Baron® Championship Rings featuring 3rd year guard for the Windsor Lancers Reine Ndome. U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports –  YouTube

Isabella Anes and the Resilience that Fuels Women’s Basketball Dreams

In the final installment of Powerplay Sports’ illuminating interview series, Isabella Anes, a talented Guard for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball team, takes us on a journey from Venezuela to Canada, breaking molds, setting examples, and advocating for the empowerment of women in sports.

A Trailblazer’s Journey:
Isabella begins by sharing the significance of leaving her hometown in Venezuela on a scholarship. This achievement not only transformed her life but resonated deeply with her family, community, and hometown.

As the lone woman in her club to pursue such an opportunity, Isabella reflects on the humbling experience of breaking barriers and shifting the focus toward recognizing female athletes.

“People are looking not only at men, not only at the guys in the club but they’re now looking at the girls as well. Having experienced that firsthand is very humbling and very inspiring as well.”

U of Windsor Women's Basketball and Powerplay Sports Unite with Baron®'s Inspire To Play Initiative, Mariah Chandler

Isabella Anes, Guard for the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

“Knowing that there’s a kid back home looking up to what I do, is what keeps me fueled. This gives me the energy to persevere through adversity and give my very best every time I step on the court.”

Inspiring the Next Generation:
Isabella is conscious of the impact she has on young minds, especially back in Venezuela. Knowing that there are kids looking up to her as a role model fuels her determination to overcome challenges and give her best on the court. She emphasizes the universal power of athletes’ stories to inspire and highlights the responsibility to use their platform not only for personal inspiration but also to open doors for those who may face fewer opportunities.

“Being an athlete and having the platform to do that is something very special and very valuable. I think we should continue to use it. Not only to inspire the Next generation but, as we just said, to open opportunities for those who perhaps don’t have it. In this case, women throughout history haven’t had it the same as men, it’s very important.”

Supporting ‘Inspire To Play’:
Expressing her enthusiasm for the ‘Inspire To Play’ initiative, Isabella emphasizes its necessity, particularly in today’s generation. She believes in the importance of investing in women in sports, noting the unfair discrepancy in attention and support compared to men’s sports. Isabella stresses that initiatives like ‘Inspire To Play’ play a crucial role in expanding opportunities, encouraging young girls to dream big, and contributing to the progress and increased support for women in sports.

“I do think that just knowing that opportunities are expanding, is so encouraging and inspiring for the next generation. It really allows them to dream and dream big. “

As Isabella Anes concludes her interview, her words echo a resounding call for change, recognition, and equal opportunities in the world of women’s sports.

Her story encapsulates not only personal triumphs but a commitment to uplifting the next generation of female athletes, ensuring they receive the credit, attention, and opportunities they rightfully deserve.

In the realm of women’s basketball, Isabella Anes stands not just as a skilled guard but as a beacon of inspiration, paving the way for a future where female athletes receive the acknowledgment and support they merit.

“Initiatives like this are going to move the needle toward progress and more support for women.”

Explore the complete interview with Isabella Anes below.

Powerplay Sports:  Inspire To Play, Isabella Anes – The final installment of INSPIRE TO PLAY by Baron® Championship Rings and produced by Powerplay Sports featuring Isabella Anes of the Windsor Lancers. U of Windsor Women’s Basketball and Powerplay Sports –  YouTube

2011 University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball National Champions

Baron® Championship Rings:  No Mountain Is Too High – The University of Windsor has one of the most successful Women’s Basketball programs in the history of collegiate sports. This is their story, told by Head Coach Chantal Valée and two-time national champion Andrea Kiss. Every championship ring has a great story and we want to share yours!  YouTube

University Athletics: Spirit of Women in Sports

Baron®‘s “Inspire To Play series captures the essence of women’s basketball through the eyes and voices of Mariah Chandler, Chantal Vallee, Reine Ndome, and Isabella Anes from the University of Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball team.

Each interview unfolds a unique perspective, revealing the dedication, challenges faced, and inspiring moments that characterize their journeys.

From the coaching realm to the player’s court, these narratives collectively paint a vivid picture of empowerment, resilience, and the unwavering commitment to advancing the status of women in sports.

For more exclusive stories in sports and coverage of local sports follow Powerplay Sports on X (formally Twitter), and Facebook.

#herjourney #hermoment #herlegacy

Commemorate your journey, resilience, and dedication with a custom Championship Ring. Just like the inspirational women in sports, let your achievements transcend boundaries. Order your unique piece of victory today and carry the spirit of triumph with you forever.

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How does the Inspire To Play campaign align with the goals of the University of Windsor Women's Basketball team and its collaboration with Baron® Championship Rings?

The “Inspire To Play” campaign serves as a central theme, honouring the triumphs of female athletes and promoting equality in sports. Explore how this initiative resonates with the team’s values and aspirations, and how it contributes to inspiring the next generation of women in sports.

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