The Huskies’ successful season continued with the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s basketball awards night March 17.
The team won three of the six individual awards and had one member named to the all-Canadian team.
Katie Miyazaki was named defensive player of the year, Jill Humbert won the Sylvia Sweeney award for the outstanding athlete who excels in academics and community involvement, Lisa Thomaidis took home the Peter Ennis award for coach of the year and Kim Tulloch made first-team all-Canadian.
Miyazaki was given the defensive player award for the second consecutive year, though it was her first time winning as a Huskie. She played for Simon Fraser University in the 2009-10 season, but chose to stay in the CIS and play for the University of Saskatchewan after SFU joined the NCAA this season.
According to the press release, her defensive skill kept the Huskies’ opponents to 59.5 points per game and her 87 steals were enough to give her the highest per game average, at 3.63. She also finished eighth in Canada West in offensive (2.3), defensive (4.5) and total rebounds (6.8) per game.
“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,” said head coach Thomaidis in the press release.
Humbert, a fifth-year Huskie who grew up in Saskatoon, works with the university’s physical activity for active living program, where she has helped disabled children swim. She also organizes and delivers hampers for “Adopt a Family” during the Christmas season and helps teach and coach basketball throughout the city. In her first four years at the U of S, Humbert was a three-time academic all-Canadian.
“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,” said Thomaidis in the press release.
Thomaidis won the coach of the year award in 2009, as well. She has coached at the 2006 world championships, three Olympic qualification tournaments and two PanAm games, and has been an assistant coach for team Canada since 2001.
She led the Huskies to 27 consecutive wins to close out the season, which landed them a number one ranking in the country for the last eight weeks. This ranking is based on a different system than the Final 8 rankings — which has the U of S ranked at number two — but, regardless, she landed the Huskies in the playoffs for the eight straight year.
She has coached the team for 13 years.
“The success of our women’s basketball program is a credit to her. Lisa is well-deserving of this award,” said Basil Hughton, the director of athletics at the U of S.
Tulloch, a fifth-year athlete with the Huskies, was named to the all-star team for the second time in her career: she was a first-team all-Canadian two years ago.
Other players named first-team all-Canadians were Jessica ClemenÃ§on from the Windsor Lancers, Amanda Sharpe from the New Brunswick Varsity Reds, Anneth Him-Lazarenko from the McGill Martlets and Justine Colley from the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
ClemenÃ§on, a sophomore, also won the Nan Copp award for player of the year. Claire Colborne of the New Brunswick team was named rookie of the year. And Brittany Dalton of the Memorial Sea-Hawks was given the Tracy MacLeod award for her determination and perseverance.