Photo credit Josh Schaefer
CANADA WEST – Announcing the 2010-11 women's basketball individual AWARDS and ALL-STARS, as selected by head coaches across the Canada West conference.
Player of the Year, Saskatchewan Huskies guard Kim Tulloch, led the conference in scoring, with 16.9 points per game and was tops in three-point field goal percentage (.464), while adding 51 steals and 117 rebounds.
The fifth-year Pharmacy and Nutrition student from Regina also became one of just three players in school history to record over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for her career. Tulloch helped lead the Huskies to a best-ever 22-2 conference record, including a 20-game win streak, and Saskatchewan had the top offence in CIS, at 78 points per game.
"Kim is quite simply one of the best basketball players in Huskies history," said Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "As unassuming as she appears, it is Kim's competitive fire, athleticism and toughness that set her apart. She has had an incredible five years at the UofS."
First-year sensation Stephanie Kleysen of the Winnipeg Wesmen is the Canada West Rookie of the Year. The 5-9 guard out of Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg played a huge role in helping the Wesmen to a 20-4 regular season record, second place in the conference standings and a CIS No. 9 ranking.
Kleysen was the conference leader in rebounds, with 228 (9.5 per game). She also tied for the lead, registering six double-doubles, averaged 8.9 points per game and tallied a season-best 17 rebounds on two occasions.
"Stephanie is very deserving of this award. She works hard, challenges herself to improve and is a great team player," said Winnipeg head coach Tanya McKay. "To lead Canada West in rebounding as a freshman is a huge individual achievement. She played a big role in our program improving from last season."
Defensive Player of the Year, fourth-year guard Katie Miyazaki, transferred to the Saskatchewan Huskies for the 2010-11 season after winning top CIS defensive player last season and made an immediate impact.
Helping the CIS top-ranked Huskies to a first-place finish in the conference, a first-round playoff series sweep and a chance to host the Canada West Final Four, the Health Sciences student led CIS with 87 steals, averaging 3.63 per game. She also helped the Huskies hold opponents to an average of just 59.5 points per game. Offensively, Miyazaki averaged 6.8 rebounds and 13 points per game.
"Katie's athleticism and versatility enable her to routinely guard any position from one through five," said head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "She is tough, fearless, and has an exceptional ability to anticipate the play. Her defence at the most critical of times has had a tremendous impact on our success this season."
The conference nominee for the CIS Tracy MacLeod Award is Nicole Clarke of the Alberta Pandas.
Named 2009 Canada West Rookie of the Year and a member of Alberta's CIS bronze medal team in her first season, Clarke exemplifies the true spirit of the award for determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit to continue playing the game of basketball. In short, the third-year guard has overcome tremendous adversity.
A Science student out of Calgary and former Junior National team member, Clarke averaged 13.8 points per game in 15 contests this season before injury ended her campaign early. She also has an impressive .859 free-throw percentage.
"Nicole has been struggling through the adversity of injury for her entire varsity career," commented Pandas head coach Scott Edwards. "She continues to persevere with a strong work ethic and many hours in the training room in order to return to the game about which she is so passionate. We know that she will do everything necessary to recover from her injuries and that she is dedicated to returning next season."
The Sylvia Sweeney Award nominee as the student-athlete who best exemplifies the values of athletics, academics and community involvement is Saskatchewan Huskies team captain Jill Humbert.
It is no coincidence that the team's best season in history coincides with Humbert's best season, helping lead Saskatchewan to a first-place, 22-2 record. The fifth-year point guard led CIS in assists, with 113, and was sixth in Canada West, averaging 15.4 points per game.
"Jill is just an outstanding individual in every way," noted head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "As a coach, she is everything you would want in a student-athlete – she is a positive role model and citizen who gives back to the community, she is a conscientious and high-achieving student and a fearless competitor on the basketball court."
A three-time Academic All-Canadian, the Kinesiology and Education student has worked with the University's PAAL program, where she swam with disabled children. She has also organized and delivered a Christmas hamper for the past two years for the "Adopt a Family" initiative through the Huskie Athletics Council, a leadership team for Huskie athletes. Humbert has also done volunteer coaching at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge for inner city youth, coached Junior Huskie teams and Saskatoon Minor Basketball teams.
For the fourth time in her career, Lisa Thomaidis has been named Canada West Coach of the Year. Thomaidis, in her 13th year at the helm of the Huskies, led the team to a program-best 22-2 record.
The Huskies have been ranked in the CIS Top 10 all season, the last seven at No.1. The impressive season also includes an active 25-game overall winning streak entering the conference Final Four. It is the longest winning streak in Huskie women's basketball history and the longest in CIS this season.
"Lisa is a wonderful example of the type of coach we have here at the University of Saskatchewan," said UofS Athletic Director Basil Hughton. "She provides a great student-athlete experience for her players by ensuring their attention to the classroom and the court. She is hardworking, a dedicated leader and is truly committed to Huskie Athletics."
Thomaidis' led the team to their first-ever conference championship in 2005-06 and was previously named Canada West Coach of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2009, winning CIS honours in 2009.
Making the All-Star team are Tulloch and Humbert, along with repeat 2010 All-Stars Joanna Zalesiak (Regina), Debbie Yeboah (Victoria), Caitlin Gooch (Winnipeg) and Marisa Haylett (Alberta). For Gooch, 2008 Canada West Rookie of the Year, this marks her fourth straight All-Star selection, while Tulloch was a CIS All-Canadian in 2009 and Ashley Hill (Calgary) has made the squad for the first time since 2009.
Following are the individual award winners and All-Stars:
MVP: Kim Tulloch, Saskatchewan
Rookie of the Year: Stephanie Kleysen, Winnipeg
Defensive Player of the Year: Katie Miyazaki, Saskatchewan
Tracy MacLeod Award nominee: Nicole Clarke, Alberta
Sylvia Sweeney Award nominee: Jill Humbert, Saskatchewan
Coach of the Year: Lisa Thomaidis, Saskatchewan
First Team Second Team
Joanna Zalesiak, Regina Zara Huntley, UBC
Caitlin Gooch, Winnipeg Lindsay Ledingham, Regina
Marisa Haylett, Alberta Debbie Yeboah, Victoria
Jill Humbert, Saskatchewan Amy Ogidan, Winnipeg
Individual award winners are now finalists for national honours, to be handed out by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) at the 2011 Final 8, hosted March 18-20 by the University of Windsor.
The Canada West Final Four will be in Saskatoon , where the host Saskatchewan Huskies playing the Fraser Valley Cascades in one Friday semifinal, followed by the Regina Cougars and Alberta Pandas in the other. The winner qualifies for CIS Nationals, while others become eligible for Regionals next week.
About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year since 1997-98. Comprised of 14 schools, from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. "cwuaa" on Twitter.
A proud member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).