Tapeesa Avaalaaqiaq Tiktaalaaq
|No. 56 – Albany Alphas|
|Species||Polar Bear ( Ursidae )|
January 1, 1992|
Kugluktuk, Nunavut, Canada
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||325 lb (147 kg)|
|School||Ursa State University|
|FBA draft||2019 / Round: 2 / Pick: 29th overall|
|Selected by the Queens Pride|
|Pro playing career||2019–present|
|2019 - 2021||Queens Pride|
|2023 Salary||$6 million|
|2024 Salary||$8 million|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Tapeesa was born at a research station in Antarctica, her mother having conceived without her knowledge between her own research trips. She has spent a majority of her upbringing bouncing between her “hometown” of Kugluktuk, Nunavut and stations in Antarctica. It was in one of these stations where she started playing basketball, as the facility had a basketball court built in. With little else to do but study and play, she split her time between the two.
She has been raised in the traditions of both science and the Inuit. Her and her mother’s indigenous heritage textures their interaction with the world very heavily. Her mother, Meriwa, grew up in the residential school system of Canada and all of the traumas that brings. Meriwa has worked to make sure that her daughter would face none of those challenges. Meriwa found science as a means of escape, but she never lost her traditions. Her first language is Inuinnaqtun, and she’s passed on this knowledge, along with her stories, to Tapeesa. Tapeesa has equally embraced science in her worldview, working toward a doctorate in particle physics, studying alongside her mother at the IceCube in Antarctica.
As she’s passed her comprehensive exams, she is all but dissertation (ABD) for her program, which has led to her submitting her name for the FBA. While her university does not have a basketball team, she’s established the “official” team on-site at the IceCube, somewhat as a joke. When on the mainland, she’s participated in teaching youth basketball programs on reserves throughout Canada; her passion lies with her people.