The University of Victoria Vikes are pleased to announce Victoria native Shalie Dheensaw as the lead assistant coach for the women’s basketball program beginning September 2018. Dheensaw will join bench boss Dani Sinclair in what will be Sinclair’s sixth season at UVic.

“We are so excited to welcome Shalie on board as our lead assistant coach this season,” said Dani Sinclair, Vikes women’s basketball head coach. “She is energetic and passionate about the game and is a great fit with our program. The experience Shalie has gained as a player and coach over the last eight years away have inspired her to want to share her passion with others.”

Dheensaw played provincially throughout high school and two years with the Canada Basketball at the Under 16 and 17 level before going to play in the Pac-12 conference at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. With the Cougars, Dheensaw and her team qualified for the WNIT tournament in back-to-back seasons (2014 and 2015). Dheensaw appeared in 112 games and started her final 50 and finished her career with 535 points, 307 rebounds and 98 blocked shots, fifth most in WSU history.

“I am so excited to work with UVic,” said 24-year-old Dheensaw. “It is a place where you can get a high quality education, while being able to play at an elite level. The campus as well as the city provides such a beautiful environment for university-aged adults to grow into their own. It is also close to my heart as my sister is a part of the program.”

“Dani, to me, is the big draw to UVic for women basketball. She loves what she does. She has a high level of understanding of the game and she is someone I can learn from to make me constantly better. She genuinely loves the people within her program, UVic and Victoria. It is hard to find coaches that are passionate about their athletes like Dani is with hers.”

Dheensaw’s playing experience was a natural bridge to her coaching career having worked with Pullman High School as a head junior varsity coach and then a graduate assistant coach at the University of Washing ton for a season. Dheensaw also an basketball assistant coach and assistant director of operations and video operations at WSU.

“I first met Shalie as a 13-year-old just starting out her own playing career,” added Sinclair. “To once again have the opportunity to work with her as she comes full circle, back to victoria as a coach, is a special moment for me and a great benefit to the program. I know she will have a great impact on our current team as well as in the community as the head coach of our youth development programs.”

Dheensaw, Sinclair and the Vikes women’s basketball team host UNBC for a pair of pre-season games, Sept. 28-29, and open their Canada West season on the road, Oct. 26-27, with a double header against Winnipeg.