For Riley Humbert, basketball has always been a family affair.
The sport has been a constant in Humbert’s life, as she started playing at the age of five after watching her older sister.
“My parents both played basketball and my dad played five years with the Huskies. My parents and my older sister inspired me to start playing,” Humbert said.
With both her parents being talented on the court as well as having two sisters who are both involved in the Huskie basketball program, you could easily say that Humbert lives in a basketball orientated family. Her older sister Jill played with the Huskies for five years before becoming a coach with the team in 2012 and her younger sister Maddy is in her second year with the team.
“I feel fortunate to have played with with my younger and older sister on the Huskies, as well as having my dad coach me as I grew up and teach me many of the basketball skills I posses now,” Humbert said. “I am lucky to have such a strong support system because of my family.”
Standing at just 5’5”, Humbert used a nice combination of skill, athleticism and toughness to find open space on the floor. She protected the ball well on offence and rarely took a bad shot, all while helping her teammates.
She idolized a Canadian point guard growing up, who shared a similar style as Humbert.
“My first role model was Steve Nash and that’s who I tried to model my game after. He was an amazing ball handler who was always able to create open shots for his teammates. That was the type of guard I wanted to be,” Humbert said.
As the graduating guard recently played her final minutes with the green and white, one of her final games came against the University of Alberta Pandas in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 8 quarter-finals. She dropped 23 points on 7–12 shooting, including a 5–7 performance from beyond the arc.
“It was a good feeling be able to hit those shots in such a big game,” Humbert said. “My teammates were able to find me and I had the confidence to knock them down, I was happy to help the team win the first game in front of our families at a national stage.”
This was one of the many fine moments in her career but there is one event in particular that will stick out the most for Humbert.
“Winning Canada West in my fourth year would have to be my favourite memory,” Humbert said. “To be able to spend every day with such an amazing group of ladies who worked so hard was an amazing accomplishment.”
Much like her older sister, Humbert will be remembered as one of the best Huskies in women’s basketball in recent history. As well as her hustle and dedication on the floor, Humbert was equally motivated off the court. In 2013–14, she took home the All-Around Female Athlete of the Year — awarded to athletes who excel athletically, academically and who are heavily involved in their community. Humbert admits it was sometimes tough to stay organized.
“I made sure that I planned out my weeks so that I could designate my time to train, practice and study. Time management is a skill that is essential to being a student-athlete,” said Humbert. “Our team does an excellent job of getting into the community and volunteering for various events, so I was happy to be a part of that.”
As Humbert finishes up her kinesiology degree and moves on to bigger and better things, she will never forget the people she met and is thankful for her time with the Huskies program.
“The biggest thing I’ll take away are the lifelong friends I have made and positive experiences I have had. Over my years with the Huskies, I have been able to develop my leadership skills, time management and personal confidence that I know will help me in the future,” Humbert said. “My coaches were incredible role models and I hope I will be able to have the same impact on others.”
Photo: Katherine Fedoroff/Photo Editor