Photo credit Edwin Tam
WINDSOR, Ont. (CIS) – Jessica Clemençon, a sophomore forward from the University of Windsor, was named CIS player of the year in women's basketball, Thursday.
The native of Saint-Rambert, France, became the first-ever Lancer to claim the Nan Copp Award, a year after being the first Windsor player to be selected rookie of the year.
She is also the first non-Canada West player since 1997 to win the top CIS award – including schools from the now defunct GPAC.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wbkb
Saskatchewan dominated the individual awards ceremony held at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.
Guard Katie Miyazaki of Richmond, B.C., was named the CIS defensive player of the year for the second straight season. Team captain Jill Humbert of Saskatoon received the Sylvia Sweeney Award, recognizing excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement. Lisa Thomaidis claimed the Peter Ennis Award as coach of the year for the second time in three campaigns.
Also honoured during the All-Canadian Banquet were UNB guard Claire Colborne of Calgary, who captured the Kathy Shields Award as rookie of the year, as well as Memorial's Brittany Dalton of Harbour Main, Nfld., who received the Tracy MacLeod Award recognizing determination and perseverance.
The CIS Final 8 gets underway Friday with the quarter-final round and culminates on Sunday with the gold medal final, live on TSN at 4:30 p.m. SSN Canada will have live webcasts of all games except the title match, while TVCogeco will televise six contests locally, including the first three quarter-finals, both semis and the bronze medal match.
NAN COPP AWARD (player of the year): Jessica Clemençon, Windsor
Clemençon is the third player in CIS women's basketball history to win both the Katie Shields and Nan Copp Awards, as rookie and player of the year, respectively, but is the first to accomplish the feat in back-to-back seasons. Calgary's Leighann Doan claimed the Shields trophy in 1997 and followed with a pair of Copp awards in 2000 and 2001, while McGill's Vicky Tessier was honoured in 1993 and 1997.
The 6-foot-3 arts & English major finished the regular season among conference and national leaders in almost every statistical category. She scored an OUA-leading 19.0 points per game, which ranked third in the nation. Clemençon also averaged 8.2 rebounds (13th in the CIS), as well as 2.0 blocks, which was second among CIS leaders. She was the top free-throw shooter in the OUA and fourth in the nation at 85.6 per cent, while her success rate on field goals (55.1%) ranked fifth across the country.
After kicking off the campaign with back-to-back all-tournament selections at the Hoopfest Invitational in Edmonton and the Don Grant Memorial tourney in Fredericton – both won by the Lancers – Clemençon led Windsor to their first-ever No. 1 ranking last fall, then proceeded to guide the team to first place overall in the OUA standings with a sparkling 20-2 record, followed by a third straight league championship, and to the No. 1 seeding heading into the CIS Final 8.
"Jessica came into the season in superb condition and really took her game to a new level. She is our most talented player and her statistics speak for themselves," said Windsor head coach Chantal Vallée. "She has consistently been our best player in our biggest games and she always seems to come up with the big play when we need it. I challenged her to be a better all-around athlete this year and taking that challenge seriously, she excelled in every aspect."
UNB post Amanda Sharpe of Fredericton, McGill forward Anneth Him-Lazarenko of Laval, Que., and Saskatchewan guard Kim Tulloch of Regina were the other nominees for the Nan Copp Award.
DEFENSIVE MVP: Katie Miyazaki, Saskatchewan
Miyazaki, who was named CIS defensive player of the year as a member of the Simon Fraser Clan a year ago, was allowed to transfer and play with Saskatchewan this season when SFU joined the NCAA. The only previous multiple winner, Rachel Hart, also claimed the award in back-to-back seasons with different teams, first with Manitoba in 2007 and then with McMaster in 2008.
A health sciences senior, she made an immediate impact with the Huskies, who held their opponents to 59.5 points per game in conference play, third best in Canada West. A two-time national champion with SFU, she set a team record in her first campaign in Saskatoon with 87 steals and led the country with an average of 3.63 steals per game. Also a threat under the basket, the 5-foot-9 veteran guard finished eighth among Canada West leaders in offensive (2.3), defensive (4.5) and total rebounds (6.8) per outing.
Miyazaki, who also chipped in offensively with 13 points a game, helped the Huskies finish first in Canada West with a 22-2 record and capture the second CWUAA banner in team history.
"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 on-ball defence and ability to come up with steals, rebounds and loose balls, at the most critical of times, have had a tremendous impact on our success this season."
St. Francis Xavier guard Ashley Stephen of Toronto, Concordia guard Kaylah Barrett of Brampton, Ont., and Western Ontario forward Matteke Hutzler of Napanee, Ont., were also in the running for defensive-MVP honours.
KATHY SHIELDS AWARD (rookie of the year): Claire Colborne, UNB
Colborne, the first UNB player in history to be named CIS rookie of the year, was nothing short of phenomenal in her university debut.
The 18-year-old joined the Varsity Reds out of St. Mary's high school in Calgary and started all 20 conference games, averaging 18.6 points per game for No. 10-ranked UNB, which ranked fourth in the Atlantic, fifth in the country, and first amongst CIS freshmen. The six-foot guard also finished second in the AUS and fifth in the nation in three-point shooting (45.5), and was the V-Reds' best free-throw shooter with a 74.8 per cent success rate. Colborne netted 20 or more points 11 times – including a season-high of 29 points in her second contest – to help UNB to a 14-6 record and second place in the AUS standings.
"Claire had an immediate impact on our team, was a scoring threat from our very first game and has continued that trend," said UNB head coach Jeff Speedy. "She led all CIS rookies in scoring by a wide margin and to be ranked fifth overall in CIS scoring as a freshman is truly a great accomplishment."
A trio of guards including Concordia's Kaylah Barrett, Toronto's Jill Stratton of Etobicoke, Ont., and Winnipeg's Stephanie Kleysen of Winnipeg were the other finalists for the Kathy Shields Award.
PETER ENNIS AWARD, presented by Coaches of Canada: Lisa Thomaidis, Saskatchewan
In her 13th season at the helm in Saskatoon, Thomaidis received the Peter Ennis Award for the second time, becoming the seventh multiple recipient of the trophy. She has been a four-time conference coach-of-the-year honoree by her Canada West peers.
This season, she led the Huskies to a school-best 22-2 conference mark including 20 straight wins to close out the regular season, and 27 consecutive victories overall, heading into the CIS Final 8. It is the longest win streak in team history and the best in the country this season. The Huskies spent the entire campaign in the national Top 10 including the last eight weeks at No. 1. After finishing first in the conference standings, they made the playoffs for the eighth straight season and claimed the Canada West title to advance to the Final 8 for the fifth time in six years.
Thomaidis, who was named a YWCA Woman of Distinction in 2009, has been an assistant coach with the Canadian national team since 2001 and has coached at the 2006 world championship, two PanAm Games and three Olympic qualification tournaments.
"Lisa is a wonderful example of the type of coach we have here at the University of Saskatchewan," said director of athletics 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. The success of our women's basketball program is a credit to her. Lisa is well-deserving of this award."
Cape Breton's Fabian McKenzie, McGill's Ryan Thorne and Toronto's Michèle Bélanger were also nominated for the Peter Ennis Award.
SYLVIA SWEENEY AWARD: Jill Humbert, Saskatchewan
Humbert becomes the second Saskatchewan player to be recognized for excellence in athletics, academics and community involvement, joining current Huskies assistant coach Jacqueline Lavallée (2002).
On the court, the fifth-year guard and team captain was named a Canada West all-star after she led the conference and finished second in the country in assists (4.71 per game), while placing sixth in league scoring with 15.4 points per game.
A three-time Academic All-Canadian in her first four years at the U of S, the kinesiology and education student has always made time for others and worthwhile causes.
Humbert has worked with the University's PAAL program, where she swam with disabled children. She has organized and delivered a Christmas hamper for the past two years for the "Adopt A Family" initiative through the Huskie Athletics Council. She has also given back to the sport as a volunteer coach at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge for inner-city youth, with Junior Huskie teams and Saskatoon minor basketball teams, in addition to helping put on various player clinics at high schools and elementary schools across Saskatoon.
"Jill is just an outstanding individual in every way," said Thomaidis. "As a coach, she is everything you would want in a student-athlete. She's a positive role model and citizen that gives back to the community, she is a conscientious, high-achieving student and a fearless competitor on the court. Jill has been an excellent ambassador for Huskie Athletics and demonstrates all that this award represents."
UNB's Amanda Sharpe, a kinesiology student, Laval forward Marie-Michelle Genois, a masters student in cellular and molecular biology from Cap-Santé, Que., and Laurentian guard Katie Goggins, a kinesiology major from Hanmer, Ont., were the other finalists for the Sylvia Sweeney Award.
TRACY MacLEOD AWARD: Brittany Dalton, Memorial
Dalton is the first Memorial winner of the Tracy MacLeod Award since its inception in 1997.
As a freshman in 2007, the 5-foot-9 guard tore her ACL and missed the next season and a half, including the CIS championship hosted by Memorial in St. John's in the winter of 2007.
After a significant amount of rehabilitation and hard work, she was able to return to university basketball and compete at a high level. This season however, in a game just prior to the holiday break, Dalton tore the same ACL once again. Determined not to miss the 2011 AUS championship on her home court, the business senior once again committed herself to an aggressive rehabilitation program, and wearing a brace, returned to action in time for the playoffs.
"Brittany has been playing major minutes at the point-guard position, was our third-leading scorer, second leading rebounder and best defender, all on one good knee," said Memorial head coach Doug Partridge. "Her fire and competitive spirit set the tone for our team and her determination to play has been a key in our rise to a competitive level this year."
Bishop's Jessy Roy of Val d'Or, Que., Ottawa's Sarah Nolette of Edmonton and Alberta's Nicole Clarke of Calgary, all guards, were the other nominees for the Tracy MacLeod Award.
The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Thursday.
Joining Clemençon on the first squad were conference MVPs Sharpe (AUS), Him-Lazarenko (RSEQ) and Tulloch (Canada West), as well as Saint Mary's guard Justine Colley of East Preston, N.S.
All are first-time all-Canadians with the exception of Tulloch, who was a first-team member two years ago.
Colley led the nation with a spectacular 25.8 points per game average this season, more than six points per outing better than runner-up Sharpe (19.7 ppg). Tulloch (16.9) and Him-Lazarenko (15.6) were the top scorers in Canada West and Quebec, respectively.
The second CIS unit is comprised of Ottawa post Hannah Sunley-Paisley of Toronto, Regina guard Joanna Zalesiak, a native of Gorzow, Poland, Toronto forward Nicki Schutz of Etobicoke, Ont., Laval forward Marie-Michelle Genois of Cap-Santé, Que., as well as Western Ontario forward Matteke Hutzler of Napanee, Ont.
Genois accomplished a rare feat by becoming a five-time CIS all-star, including first-team nods a year ago and in 2007-08. Sunsley-Paisley and Schutz both return from the 2010 second squad.
Joining Colborne as CIS all-rookies for 2010-11 were conference top freshmen Barrett, Stratton and Kleysen, as well as Fraser Valley guard Sarah Wierks of Chilliwack, B.C.
2010-2011 CIS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS
Nan Copp Award (player of the year): Jessica
Defensive player of the year: Katie Miyazaki, Saskatchewan
Kathy Shields Award (rookie of the year): Claire Colborne, UNB
Peter Ennis Award (presented by Coaches of Canada): Lisa Thomaidis, Saskatchewan
Sylvia Sweeney Award (student-athlete / community service): Jill Humbert, Saskatchewan
Tracy MacLeod Award: Brittany Dalton, Memorial
Pos. - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Faculty
F Jessica Clemençon Windsor 2 Saint-Rambert, France Arts
G Kim Tulloch Saskatchewan 5 Regina, Sask. Pharmacy
P Amanda Sharpe UNB 5 Fredericton, N.B. Kinesiology
F Anneth Him-Lazarenko McGill 3 Laval, Que. Education
G Justine Colley Saint Mary's 2 East Preston, N.S. Science
P Hannah Sunley-Paisley Ottawa 5 Toronto, Ont. Arts
G Joanna Zalesiak Regina 3 Gorzow, Poland Kinesiology & Health
F Nicki Schutz Toronto 5 Etobicoke, Ont. Arts & Science
F/P Marie-Michelle Genois Laval 5 Cap-Santé, Que. Ms C&M Biology
F Matteke Hutzler Western 5 Napanee, Ont. Health Sciences
W Claire Colborne UNB 1 Calgary, Alta. BRSS
G Stephanie Kleysen Winnipeg 1 Winnipeg, Man. Science
G Kaylah Barrett Concordia 1 Brampton, Ont. Religion
F Sarah Wierks Fraser Valley 1 Chilliwack, B.C. Science Studies
G Jill Stratton Toronto 1 Etobicoke, Ont. FPEH