Chelsea and Makayla Hoey in high school (photo submitted)

Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s basketball team will feature a sister duo when they take to the court for the 2017-18 Canada West season.


Head coach Scott Reeves and the WolfPack are pleased to announce that 5’7” point guard Makalya Hoey of Ballenas Secondary in Parksville, BC has committed to the program effective September 1st.

Hoey is the younger sister of TRU forward Chelsea.


“TRU was the best fit for the program that I was interested in and also for basketball,” Makayla says.  “I’ve been to Kamloops many times and it is a beautiful area.”


Hoey led her Ballenas team to the Vancouver Island “AA” championship in 2017 as they went 13-1 in league play.  She will be taking courses to achieve an undergraduate Bachelor of Business degree at Thompson Rivers.

“My strengths as a player are that I am determined to constantly get better. I am aggressive and not scared of contact and have good vision on the floor.”


Her high school coach for three years (grade 8 and then 11 and 12) was Bryan Spray. “Her greatest development in the past five years has been her confidence,” he adds. “Obviously, her fundamental skills have improved but her confidence to drive and shoot has greatly increased. Her strengths are confidence, speed, phenomenal ball handling, shooting, defense and her ability to penetrate defense and drive to the net. She is a very well rounded player.”


While Coach Reeves has this assessment: “Mak is very athletic and will be able to score for us in a variety of ways. She is a tireless worker and a great student. She is very team focused and will fit with our culture perfectly.”


When asked what she needs to do to improve for Canada West/USport play, Makalya states: “ To be successful at this level I will have to continue to work on my strength and speed so I can match up easier with older players. During the summer, I need to work really hard so I am ready to practice and play at the university level.”


This will not be the first time that the Hoey sisters have played together when they suit up with WolfPack in the fall. They have played three years of high school together.  “I think it will be great to have her be part of the team,” Chelsea—who had a banner sophomore campaign with TRU in 2016-17 says. “I didn’t influence her at all. I wanted her to make her own decision and do what is best for her. “


“She told me that she is really enjoying her experience at TRU and she has made some really good friend that help make that experience more enjoyable,” adds Makayla.


As far as sibling rivalry goes?  Says Chelsea:  “I will always be her big sister until we step on the court. On it, we will be teammates and I am very willing to help her and all the other recruits.  First year is hard as you move away from home and all the other transitions, so I will do my best as a big sister to help her feel comfortable and help her adjust.  My sister is a very competitive player so she will bring good new energy on the floor.”


Chelsea’s first advice to Makayla?  “She will have to be really determined and focused when it comes to learning the offense because it is one of the hardest parts of being a first year.”


DOUBLE DRIBBLES:  Makayla joins other first year recruits: Alley Corrado (5’7” guard, Kelowna, BC-Kelowna Secondary/Jr. Heat),  Jordon Haggarty (5’5” guard, Saskatoon, SK-Centennial Collegiate/Team Saskatchewan),  Megan Rouault (5’8” forward, Vernon, BC-Vernon Secondary/Jr Heat), Kianna Counsell (5’9”, guard, Port Moody, BC-Heritage Woods Secondary).


Spray on Makayla moving to Canada West: “She is intensely competitive and mentally tough and allows nothing to affect her game. She plays equally hard in spite of any adversity that crops up which is a rare quality in a high school athlete. I think she will do very well at the next level given her attitude, competitiveness and skill set. It has been a treat having Makayla with us and she is fun to watch play. She will make TRU better.”


This won’t be the first time that the WolfPack women’s basketball team has had a sister duo. Vernon, BC’s  Kayla and Karalyn Forsyth wore TRU uniforms at the same time in 2009-10.