Following Her Dream

Claire Ghantous ’22 is a talented freshman at Orange Lutheran High School. She has been playing hockey most of her life, alongside her two older brothers. She is one of only three girls on the OLu hockey team and the youngest member of Lebanon’s first women’s ice hockey team. 

Claire was recently selected to attend the USA Hockey Multidistrict Girls Development Camp on the road to the United States national U18 hockey team. She competed with other hockey players from across the state in the 2019 California Amateur Hockey Association Select Camp, while being evaluated to move on to the district camp. 

For her age group and position, Claire was one of only five players chosen to continue on to the USA Hockey Multidistrict Girls’ Development Camp.

Ghantous was relieved she was selected. “I was a little nervous, but I thought I could do it. I made it the past two years that I was eligible, but I was thinking it might be harder competition now,” she says.

In June, she will head to Colorado Springs, where she will attend the camp for the third consecutive year. Once again, she will be evaluated to see if she qualifies for USA Hockey’s National Player Development Camp. 

“Honestly, I think I’d cry of happiness (if I were selected to move on),” Ghantous says. “I’m really working towards that this year because last year I didn’t make it and I was disappointed.”

In addition to finding success in the states, Ghantous has also found success on an international level. She is the youngest member of Lebanon’s inaugural women’s ice hockey team, which will begin to compete against other countries as early as next year. In 2021, the team plans to compete in the Asian Winter Games and hopes to qualify for the 2026 Winter Olympics. 

Claire hopes to continue both her hockey career and her education by becoming the second OLu hockey player to earn a scholarship for women’s ice hockey. The first, Kimberly Mills, signed to Concordia University Ann Arbor in 2018.

by Brigette Ramirez '22