Athlete Spotlight: Laniyan wants to leave her mark on Hawks


Courtesy/Saint Anselm College

Jenoyce Laniyan is in her fifth year at Saint Anselm and has played for the women’s basketball team since her freshman year.

Claire Winkeler, Crier Staff

Jenoyce Laniyan is in her 5th year at Saint Anselm, and has been playing basketball since fifth grade. Her dad encouraged her to start playing, even though at that time she was very into soccer and cheerleading. She fell in love with the sport and she still is to this day. Laniyan got help from her AAU team through the whole process of trying to play college basketball, since she herself wasn’t thinking about it until late high school came around. 

Laniyan’s track record at Saint Anselm shows how much time she spends practicing and her dedication to the sport. As shown on the Saint Anselm women’s basketball page, in the 2017-2018 season, when Laniyan was only a freshman, she played in an impressive 20 games for Saint Anselm.

During the 2018-2019 season and Laniyan’s sophomore campaign, Laniyan was a part of a team that went all the way to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Division II tournament. This was the first Elite 8 in Saint Anselm women’s basketball program history and an enormous accomplishment.  

In her 2019-2020 Junior season, Laniyan played a career-high 28 games. The Hawks were a dominant 21-7 on the season and 15-4 in NE-10 play. In addition, Laniyan grabbed six rebounds at Pace on January 11th. She scored a season-high 12 points against New Haven in the NE10 Quarterfinals on March 1st, shooting an accurate 5-for-7 from the floor. Laniyan also does all the things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. She is a great leader, a true team player, she brings energy and hustle, and she leaves it all on the court every single game.

Throughout the process of picking out colleges, she wanted to keep an open mind with her college decision. Ironically, she only lives a few minutes away from campus and had played on the Saint Anselm court many times for AAU. When Saint Anselm started recruiting her, she was hesitant at first due to how close she lives, but found that she doesn’t “even feel like [she’s] close to home when [she’s] on campus,”  and “that our campus is each of our own personal homes we share together, and it’s a small but strong community.”

Basketball is a very popular sport for both men and women to compete in. While the court is small in comparison to some sports, it is still very physically demanding. One aspect of basketball that Laniyan loved was that “it’s a project that you start and when you get a good result at the end of it and have the same collective goal, it’s really awesome.” Laniyan and her teammates are all very close to each other and have a great support system with each other and hold everyone accountable both academically and athletically. This creates an amazing atmosphere for all of the players to grow collectively as a team and creates great reliance and teamwork throughout the season. 

Laniyan’s love of the sport and her team was clear with the smile that didn’t leave her face while talking about her team. She still plans on continuing to play after graduation due to the sport being a great form of exercise and a perfect distraction.

“My goal is just to leave a mark this year. I want to be impactful to my team, the best way I can,” Laniyan remarked, “I want to be the piece of the whole that leads to the success of the team.”