Women’s Basketball News

UNB’s Jayda Veinot was named the winner of the Nan Copp Trophy as U SPORTS women’s basketball player of the year Wednesday night at the All-Canadian awards banquet held in Edmonton.

Other major award winners included Catrina Garvey of Toronto Metropolitan, who took home the Kathy Shields Award for Rookie of the year, while Nikki Cabuco of UFV earned the Sylvia Sweeney Award for Student-Athlete Community Service. Alberta’s Claire Signatovich was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year, and Serena Tchida of Concordia won the Tracy Macleod Award for showcasing exemplary courage in overcoming adversity. Saskatchewan’s Lisa Thomaidis was honoured with the Fox 40 Coach of the Year award.

The 2024 U SPORTS Women’s Final 8, presented by the Westin Edmonton, gets underway Thursday at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton, and continues until the gold medal game, set for 7:30 p.m. (Mountain time) on Sunday.

View the official championship website.

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Nan Copp Trophy (outstanding player of the year): Jayda Veinot, UNB

Jayda Veinot of the UNB Reds takes home the Nan Copp Trophy as the U SPORTS player of the year in women’s basketball.

A fifth-year wing from Port Williams, N.S., Veinot finished third in U SPORTS in scoring, averaging 21.3 points every game. She added 7.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while also shooting a remarkable 91.3 per cent from the free throw line. Her play helped the Reds to the second-best regular season record in the AUS (15-5) and made the AUS championship game for the first time in 13 years.

Veinot had previously been a nominee for the award in 2022, when she was named the AUS MVP while playing at Acadia. She becomes the first UNB player to win the national award, and the fourth from the AUS, following Justine Colley-Leger (Saint Mary’s, 2013 & 2014), Paloma Anderson (Acadia, 2018) and Jenna Mae Ellsworth (UPEI, 2020).

Other nominees: Léa-Sophie Verret (Laval), Madalyn Weinert (Brock), Jade Belmore (Regina).

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Kathy Shields Award – Rookie of the Year: Catrina Garvey, Toronto Metropolitan

Garvey earned the Kathy Shields Award after a standout debut season for the Bold. Garvey averaged 32.8 minutes per game to rank fifth among all OUA players, showing her value in just her first season. Garvey recorded 274 total points and her 13.0 points per game was good for 20th in the conference. She scored in double digits in 14 of the 21 regular season games she played and was a threat from anywhere on the floor, finishing 13th in the OUA in field goals and 11th in made three pointers.

Garvey is the second ever TMU player to win the award at the national level, following Darcel Wright, who won in 1991.

Other nominees: Makena Anderson (Victoria), Eve Atchampone (Bishop’s), Kaitlyn Ferrier (Dalhousie).

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Sylvia Sweeney Award – Student-Athlete Community Service: Nikki Cabuco, UFV

Nikki Cabuco has made a huge impact on the court for the UFV Cascades, earning a spot in the starting lineup as a rookie and maintaining that key role as the Cascades have risen to become a perennial presence in the U SPORTS rankings. Now in her fourth season, the Port Moody, B.C. product's passion for serving others is also creating an off-court legacy that is even more impactful and long-lasting. She is not only on track to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care from UFV, but backing up her academic studies with practical action in the community.

Cabuco has taken what she has learned at UFV and applied it with passion through her extensive work in the community with a focus on marginalized groups. She currently serves as a board member with the Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society, giving input into policy, development, and goal setting. She also serves as a youth and family ambassador with Foundry BC, participating in an innovative project to support a diverse pan-Canadian network of young people and family.

Last summer, she also served as a substance use counsellor through the Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society and Foundry BC’s Abbotsford chapter, offering walk-in counselling and supported outreach activities while also participating in Indigenous youth advocacy groups and traditional celebrations. 

Other nominees: Katie Butts (UNB), Jasmine Martel (Bishop’s), Jenna Button (McMaster).

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Defensive Player of the Year: Claire Signatovich, Alberta

For the second-straight season, the best defensive player in U SPORTS Women’s Basketball is Alberta Pandas forward Claire Signatovich. The fourth-year Winnipeg product turned in a stellar season for the Pandas, who finished conference play with a 14-6 record. Signatovich led Canada West with 37 blocks, finishing sixth in with 182 total rebounds, third with 127 defensive rebounds, while adding 30 steals.

Having already established herself as one of the best defensive players in Alberta and Canada West history, Signatovich now also becomes just the fifth player to be named national defensive player of the year multiple times, following Rachel Hart (2007, 2008), Katie Miyazaki (2010, 2011), Miah-Marie Langlois (2012, 2013, 2014) and Khaleann Caron-Goudreau (2019, 2020).

Other nominees: Clara Gascoigne (Saint Mary’s), Victoria Guanoa (Bishop’s), Julia Chadwick (Queen’s).

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Tracy Macleod Award – Courage Overcoming Adversity: Serena Tchida, Concordia

Halfway into the 2022-23 RSEQ season, Serena Tchida was establishing herself as one of the up-and-comers of the league, averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Then, in the ninth game of the campaign, Tchida turned to run down the court and tore her Achilles tendon, instantaneously ending her season.

After surgery, she worked tirelessly to rehab and get back into playing shape, hoping to be back by the beginning of the 2023-24 season. The work paid off, as the Montrealer played all 16 games, averaging 24.7 minutes. She seemed to have come back even stronger, averaging 15.1 points per game, and finished with the most points scored in the conference.

Other nominees: Avery Walker (StFX), Grace Koffi (Windsor), Lauren Bartlett (Manitoba).

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Fox 40 Coach of the Year: Lisa Thomaidis, Saskatchewan

Lisa Thomaidis, who is wrapping up her 25th season with the Huskies, adds another accolade to her impressive resume, as this is her third career Peter Ennis Award, following wins in 2008 and 2009.

Her Huskies were nearly unstoppable this season, compiling a 19-1 record while boasting the conference's most prolific offence. The team enters the 2024 Women’s Final 8 as the first overall seed for the third time in her tenure, following 2006 (where the Huskies finished sixth) and 2020 (when they won the championship). Thomaidis will be seeking her third national championship, following wins in 2016 and 2020.

She also experienced success on the international stage in the past year, guiding Germany's women's national program to their first-ever Olympic berth less than a year after being named head coach. Thomaidis will be making her fourth Olympic appearance in Paris later this summer, with previous appearances as an assistant with Team Canada in 2012 and as head coach with Team Canada at the 2016 and 2020 Games. 

Other nominees: Scott Munro (Saint Mary’s), Guillaume Giroux (Laval), Dani Sinclair (Carleton).

2024 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Nan Copp Trophy (player of the year): Jayda Veinot, UNB

Kathy Shields Award (rookie of the year): Catrina Garvey, Toronto Metropolitan

Sylvia Sweeney Award (student-athlete community service): Nikki Cabuco, UFV

Tracy MacLeod Award (courage overcoming adversity): Serena Tchida, Concordia

Defensive Player of the Year: Claire Signatovich, Alberta

Peter Ennis Award (Fox40 Coach of the Year): Lisa Thomaidis, Saskatchewan

First Team All-Canadians

Athlete                                      University                     Pos       Year        Hometown                              Academic Program

Jayda Veinot                           UNB                                 F            5               Port Williams, N.S.                Applied Health

Léa-Sophie Verret                 Laval                                F            3               Quebec City, Que.                 Dentistry

Madalyn Weinert                  Brock                               G/F       3               St. Catharines, Ont.              Medical Sciences

Julia Chadwick                        Queen’s                          F            5               Ottawa, Ont.                           Arts & Science

Jade Belmore                          Regina                             F            3               Regina, Sask.                           Kin. & Health Studies

 

Second Team All-Canadians

Athlete                                      University                     Pos       Year        Hometown                              Academic Program

Elizabeth Iseyemi                  Acadia F                          4            Dartmouth, N.S.          Chemistry

Victoria Gauna                       Bishop’s                          F            3               Mendoza, Argentina            Sports Studies

Kali Pocrnic                              Carleton                         G           4               Oakville, Ont.                          Psychology

Maddy Gobeil                         UFV                                  G           4               Kamloops, B.C.                       Kinesiology

Gage Grassick                         Saskatchewan              G           3               Prince Albert, Sask.               Kinesiology

 

All-Rookie Team

Athlete                                      University                     Pos                         Hometown                              Academic Program

Kaitlyn Ferrier                         Dalhousie                      G                             Calgary, Alta.                           Arts

Eve Atchampone                   Bishop’s                          G                             Trois-Rivieres, Que.              Psychology

Catrina Garvey                       TMU                                 G                             Ottawa, Ont.                           Psychology

Makena Anderson                Victoria                           G/F                         Victoria, B.C.                            Social Sciences

Ella Rees                                   Alberta                            G                             Bracebridge, Ont.                  Science