February 28, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – Canada West women’s basketball Most Valuable Player Kris Young brought an all-around game to the UBC Thunderbirds this season that was unmatched by any other player across the conference.
Young led her team in scoring 12 times as UBC ended the year with a 17-5 record.
The North Vancouver, B.C. native was sixth in league scoring with an average of 16.9 points a game. The third-year guard was also sixth in assists with 3.5 a game, and ninth in rebounding, grabbing 7.5 boards per contest for UBC.
“We are thrilled that Kris bought her character and exceptional abilities to UBC. She was a contributor from the moment she arrived on campus but in just her third year in the CIS, Kris has stepped up to an elite level and has become an undeniable leader on and off the court for the Thunderbirds,” said UBC head coach Deb Huband. “Kris has the ability to elevate her game in relation to the stakes and she can be relied on for her leadership, determination and positive attitude. She leads by example every day in practice but also displays the courage and confidence to demand the best from her teammates.”
Young also earned a spot on the Canada West First All-Star Team. Last season, she was recognized with a place on the Second Team and was later named a CIS tournament All-Star after leading UBC to the gold medal game.
Vikes rookie Jenna Bugiardini, named the conference’s Rookie of the Year, started 21 of 24 games as a Victoria Vikes squad of only two seniors finished the regular season with a 16-6 record and showed incredible resilience throughout the 2012-13 season.
Bugiardini helped the Vikes concede only two losses in the 2013 portion of the season as the first-year was fifth in team scoring, averaging 5.6 points per game. The five-foot-eleven forward was consistent all year and put on an outstanding scoring showcase on Feb. 9 with a season-high 20 points over the Mount Royal Cougars. Bugiardini finished the season with 138 points, 27 assists and 18 steals. The Hamilton, Ontario native averages 37 per cent from the field in scoring and pulled down an average of 4.2 rebounds per game.
“What she does doesn’t always show up on the stats but she does all the little things and gets the little hustle plays,” said Vikes associate coach Dani Sinclair, whose 2012-13 team improved big from last year’s 8-10 record with the addition of Bugiardini to the starting five. “As a first year player, she was tasked guarding some of the other team’s top forwards and one of the best ways to stop someone is not let them catch the ball and she understood how to do that. She is a very smart player and comes from a background of winning.”
Fourth-year Calgary Dinos guard Tamara Jarrett is the first Dino to be named the Canada West Defensive Player of the Year since the award’s inception in 2002, adding a spot on the second all-star team to her resume after a solid season.
Jarrett was a key member of the starting five as the team posted a 19-3 record, its best since 1990. While her offensive production of 12 points per game was important to the team – which finished as the second-highest scoring squad in the conference – it was her defensive tenacity that set her apart as she was second in steals (63) and Calgary finished the year with an average of 13.3 per game, the best in Canada West.
“It’s a real honour to have Tamara honoured by the other coaches as defensive player of the year,” said Calgary head coach Damian Jennings. “I really feel that she is just scratching the surface of her potential. Her one-on-one defence, particularly, has evolved into some of the best I’ve seen in any domestic league around the world. She is now being clever with her disruption and thinking strategically about how to manipulate her match-up, where in the past she relied on pure athleticism.”
Zana Williams of UBC is the Canada West nominee for the CIS Tracy MacLeod Award. Her tenacity and love of basketball has continually helped her triumph over eight years of adversity.
She began experiencing knee problems in grade eight and they continue to this day, even though she eventually became one of BC’s top high school players and then a high-level university athlete. Williams endured years of treatments including physiotherapy, acupuncture, stretching therapy and prolotherapy injections. She started he post-secondary career at Utah State University, but she was forced to quit after experiencing debilitating pain.
She returned to Vancouver, rehabilitated and joined UBC in 2010. Despite missing time, Williams persisted and in her second year at UBC she was struck by a devastating new injury when she tore her ACL in January 2012. However, Williams persisted and made her way back to the court again in December 2012.
“Zana is an inspiration to those around her for her enduring love for the game and for the tremendous courage and indelible spirit that she has shown. She still has a ways to go to show her true potential as a player but she gets up and works towards that with optimism and relentless effort on a daily basis.”
Sylvia Sweeney Award nominee Alexa McCarthy of the Fraser Valley Cascades is active in several community service initiatives and takes on a key leadership role in UFV athletics as a whole. She has battled through an unfathomable number of injuries over the years to become a significant contributor to our team in 2012-13. Through all of her adversity she has always lead the team in reaching out to the community.
She has initiated, organized, and driven what has become a major UFV athletics community outreach initiative. The ‘Walk and Knock food bank drive’ is an event where UFV athletes walk the community on Halloween evening collecting food for the Abbotsford food bank. In recent years, McCarthy has been participating in the Fraser Valley’s chapter of the ‘Operation Red Nose’ program and has led UFV’s CIS “Shoot for the Cure” drive at UFV. She is a three-time winner of the UFV athletics community service award and has thrice been recognized by the University of the Fraser Valley for her outstanding contribution and leadership with the community service she provides in our communities.
“Alexa has been a major contributor to UFV, the Athletics program and the Fraser Valley communities,” said Rocky Olfert, Fraser Valley Athletic Director. She has had a significant impact on the culture we are trying to create. Her efforts to continually put others before herself model this as a student-athlete who has been an inspiration to all of us.”
Hired as the University of Calgary’s sixth women’s basketball coach in early July, Damian Jennings has been voted Coach of the Year.
While he did not arrive on campus until mid-August after serving as an assistant for the British women’s Olympic team, and despite the short turnaround and the lack of his own recruiting class in his first year, Jennings’ Dinos made a major statement in 2012-13.
They won their first eight games of the season and find themselves just a win away from heading to the CIS Final 8 as they get set to host the Canada West Final Four this weekend for the first time since 1991.
Demanding and receiving full buy-in, hard work, and intensity from every player on the roster, Jennings brought his up-tempo European flair to the game and made the Dinos a tough team to beat. Calgary averaged more than 74 points per game, better than all but one team in the conference, and found ways to win on several occasions when it seemed out of reach – most notably double-digit deficits in the fourth quarter at both Victoria and UBC Okanagan.
“Damian has had a fantastic first year, and this honour is well-deserved,” said Dinos athletic director Ron Wuotila. “From day one he established a culture of excellence which the players have truly embraced. For most of us involved in his appointment, the thought of hosting the Final Four in year one was beyond our wildest expectations; everyone involved with the program should be proud, but it takes a leader to establish the vision and Damian has demonstrated that he is that leader.”
Here are the Canada West women’s basketball Award winners & All-Stars:
MVP: Kris Young, UBC
Rookie of the Year: Jenna Bugiardini, Victoria
Defensive Player of the Year: Tamara Jarrett, Calgary
Tracy MacLeod Award nominee: Zana Williams, UBC
Sylvia Sweeney Award nominee: Alexa McCarthy, Fraser Valley
Coach of the Year: Damian Jennings, Calgary
ALL-STARS (alphabetical order by surname)
First Team Second Team
Michelle Clark, Regina Jessica Franz, Calgary
Dalyce Emmerson, Saskatchewan Tamara Jarrett, Calgary
Diane Schuetze, Thompson Rivers Aieisha Luyken, Fraser Valley
Debbie Yeboah, Victoria Brittany Read, Regina
Kris Young, UBC Holly Strom, Trinity Western
All-Stars with previous Canada West selections…
Dalyce Emmerson, Sask 2012 2nd & Rookie of the Year
Brittany Read, Reg 2010 1st
Diane Schuetze, TRU 2012 1st
Debbie Yeboah, UVic 2011 2nd 2010 2nd
Kris Young, UBC 2012 2nd
Award winners become finalists for Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) awards, to be handed out at a gala event during championship week as the University of Regina hosts CIS Nationals, March 15-17.
Canada West Athletics women’s basketball Award winners & All-Stars, also posted on the canadawest.org website.
Canada West women’s basketball: http://bit.ly/u51mlG
This weekend’s Canada West Final Four takes place at the University of Calgary, with the host Dinos taking on provincial rival Alberta on Friday night. The second semifinal sees Regina play Fraser Valley. As host of Nationals, Regina has qualified for the national tournament, with two more spots up for grabs – the top two finishers this weekend other than the Cougars. One wild card team from across CIS will also be at the national tournament. All games are LIVE on canadawest.tv.
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, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 16 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. #cwTV / #cwhoops
A proud member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).