By Howard Tusumara, The Province
VANCOUVER — Cherub Lum laughs out loud when asked about the origins of her unforgettable first name.
“My mom told me they chose the name because when I was born, I was very angelic like,” explains the senior point guard with the B.C. Triple A No. 3-ranked York House Tigers of Vancouver.
When it comes to her gritty nature on the basketball court, however, first impressions can be quite quickly thrown out with the bath water, because the 5-foot-6 Lum, while somewhat angelic in stature, plays the game with a huge heart and a commanding nature.
“I don’t know that I would describe her play as angelic, but I thank the angels that she plays for us,” says York House head coach Winston Brown, whose Tigers play host to a bevy of the province’s best teams at its annual 26th Street Tournament, set to open a three-day run today at the Vancouver school, as well as neighbouring Crofton House. “There is a speed and an explosiveness about the way she plays that I have not seen in a long time, and it’s something I have not coached before. Without mincing words or sugar-coating it, Cherub is by far the best point guard we’ve ever had at our school and that is saying something.”
What also says a lot is that Lum, set to join the CIS No. 3-ranked UBC Thunderbirds next season, is about as tough as they come.
Twelve months ago, during last season’s 26th Street tourney, she suffered a separated right shoulder which has never fully healed. She’s booked her surgery for three days after the completion of the upcoming B.C. Triple A championships in March, but until then, it’s likely to keep popping out of joint as she and talented Pepperdine-bound scoring guard Alisha Roberts comprise one of the most talented prep backcourts in the country.
“I think I have gone through a lot of pain,” admits Lum, who this past summer made the B.C. Under 17 team despite her wounded wing and was able to play in the team’s first three tournaments before having to finally sit out. “I just feel so good after games, especially when we win as a team. And for me, the hardest thing is not being able to be in the gym or hanging out with my teammates because you just get so used to being around positive people and the game you love.”