Farmer realizes pro dream, signing contract to play in Luxembourg next season

Mackenzie Farmer, who completed her career with the Griffins last February, has signed a contract to play pro in Luxembourg for the 2023-24 season (Robert Antoniuk photo).
Mackenzie Farmer, who completed her career with the Griffins last February, has signed a contract to play pro in Luxembourg for the 2023-24 season (Robert Antoniuk photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Coming off a terrific final university season where she set several program records – including becoming the first Griffins women's basketball player to reach 1,000 Canada West points – Mackenzie Farmer is turning pro.

Earlier this week, the DC Sports Agency announced on Instagram that Farmer has signed a contract with BBC Les Sangliers Wiltz in Luxembourg's top league for the 2023-24 season.

"I knew (in 2021-22), which was my fourth year of basketball (with the Griffins) that I wanted to do this for longer than just the five years, which is why I stuck around for my last year," said Farmer. "I knew it would be a good step to just put in more work to be the best version of myself. Now that it's happening, it's just so real.

"I feel like in basketball I have a lot of potential to be better and I'm excited to see my potential come out even more in Luxembourg."

The process started with Griffins assistant coach Jacob Cusumano – who previously played professionally in Italy – helping Farmer put together a video highlight tape in a bid to get an agent. That piqued the interest of Daniel Chatchou, CEO, President and Founder of DC Sports Agency, who signed her and went about the process of landing her a contract.

"My agent basically did all the work," said Farmer. "I had to give him some minor stuff on my end, but he did it all himself and I'm so thankful for him."

The process even included lining up a roommate and mentor for Farmer, who will learn the ropes from fellow BBC Les Sangliers Wiltz 2023-24 signing Megan Swords, an American who previously played pro in Germany and Belgium after her five-year NCAA career at Holy Cross ended in 2020.

"It's really exciting," said Griffins head coach Katherine Adams, who recruited Farmer to MacEwan out of Sherwood Park's Bev Facey high school in 2017. "I know she's pretty excited. And it's a pretty proud moment for me. It's the first athlete I've coached that's gone on to the next level."

Mackenzie Farmer drives to the hoop against UFV during a game last season (Robert Antoniuk photo).

Farmer is the first Griffins women's basketball player to turn pro since Kelly O'Hallahan enjoyed a successful career in Ireland after finishing at MacEwan in 2016, prior to Adams' tenure as head coach.

"It's really cool," said Adams. "Playing professional basketball … our athletes know it's a possibility and they hear about other student-athletes who have gone on to do it, but to have someone they know do it, maybe makes it seem that it's a little more real and more attainable because 'why not them?' "

Farmer will bring a unique versatility to Luxembourg when she heads over in August.

"She's 6-2 and the skill set she brings to the table allows her to play and defend multiple positions," said Adams. "We know she can score and score in a variety of ways. Just her length and athleticism allow her to fill a number of different roles and play a lot of positions. I think that would certainly be appealing to a lot of people."

Farmer credits Adams and Cusumano for her growth from good university player to pro prospect, especially through the situations she was put in during her final season in 2022-23. With the team short-handed due to injuries, she had to guard multiple positions and many of the top players in Canada West.

"I feel like it brought the environment out in me of wanting to go (play pro)," she said. "I think it just prepared me because I had to guard every position. Wherever Katherine wanted me, I was going to do it with flying colours. I think it just put me in a right spot where I can match up against some of the best players in our league. 

"It was like 'if I can do it here, I want to see where I can go and hopefully do it in Europe.' "