GREEN BAY – Kaili Lukan ’16 (Environmental Policy & Planning) showed her competitive side for four years on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball team.When Lukan, a scrappy guard who grew up in Ontario, Canada, graduated from college in 2016, her competitive juices were still flowing.She had the opportunity to extend her athletic playing days, but it wasn’t on the basketball court.The head coach of the Canadian National Rugby Team called and wanted her to try out.Lukan’s older sister, Megan ’15 (Buisness Administration and Communication) – who also played basketball for the Phoenix – was currently on the team.Five years after Lukan chose to pursue rugby, she got to live out a childhood dream of competing in the Olympics.Lukan recently returned to Canada from Tokyo following Canada’s women’s sevens rugby squad’s ninth-place finish in the 2020 Olympic Games.In the 2016 Rio Games, the Canadians won the bronze, so this year’s team was expected to make a run at the gold medal.“It was a surreal moment,” Lukan said about competing in the Olympics. “I trained for five years to be named to the Olympic team, and fortunately, I was. I was happy and proud to be representing (Canada) with my teammates. I’m proud I made it that far. It wasn’t the outcome we envisioned or wanted, but I couldn’t be more proud of my team for what we endured this past year.”
…The 27-year-old, who earned her undergraduate degree in environmental policy and planning at UWGB, recently completed her master of arts in interdisciplinary studies at Royal Roads University in British Columbia.
Because rugby is a full-time job and she is paid to play, Lukan hasn’t had to work a regular day job.
Lukan said she’s planning on playing things by ear for the next couple of months and see what doors open for her.
“I’m fortunate for my Green Bay family and the community that has always supported me through basketball and then my continued endeavors with rugby,” Lukan said. “I’m thankful for them. Green Bay is a place I still call home, and I’ll always have a special place in my heart. I want to give a huge shoutout to everyone in Green Bay.”