Hello Concordia! The focus for this issue is on the men and women’s basketball teams!
Both teams had a stellar season, and each was able to make ACAC playoffs. The men’s team finished first in the Northern Division to clinch a playoff spot. Additionally, the women’s team earned second place to make playoffs. ACAC Championships were held March 1st-4th, with the men’s tournament being hosted by Lethbridge, and the women carrying out their playoffs at SAIT. I am going to start by discussing the women’s team and their accomplishments throughout the tournament.
From the women’s team, I had the opportunity to meet with Shyanne Walton, a graduating fifth-year player who majored in Biology. She played on two sports teams during university (the other being soccer), and she commented that she especially appreciated how sports were able to help her time-management skills and that Shyanne was able to apply the traits she learned from sports to all areas of her life. Shyanne also mentioned how much she valued the fantastic people she was able to meet during her time on Concordia’s sports teams.
She recounted her final weekend in ACAC basketball. Right off the bat, I want to give some huge congratulations to Shyanne as well as Morgan Dool for being recipients of the All-Conference Awards. All-Conference Awards are hand-selected and voted on by the league’s coaches. The All-Conference Award is given to athletes who display outstanding leadership and talent in their particular sport.
CUE Thunder played Medicine Hat on Thursday and then NAIT on Friday. Despite a tremendous effort by your CUE Thunder, they narrowly lost both games. Shyanne remarked that playing Medicine Hat was a tough game as the southern teams are “characteristic of being more physical teams.” Moreover, while the Thunder fought hard, very little went their way, and baskets weren’t dropping. Medicine Hat closed the gap by only a few points. Although the team was not overly pleased with the tournament, Shyanne noted that “they are hoping to use this year as a stepping stone and come out even stronger next year.” She also commented that this was only the second time in six years that the women’s team made it to playoffs. Lastly, a shoutout to Sofia Lucadello who won Player of the Game for both games on Thursday/Friday. Excellent work, ladies!
Next, let’s recap the men’s basketball teams and their playoffs hosted by Lethbridge College.
I was able to interview Brett Jakubec, another senior, who played his fifth and final year of the 2017/18 season. He had a remarkable career at Concordia. He went to playoffs for 4 out of 5 years, was awarded the All-Tournament Award during the championships, has a silver and bronze medal, and was also one among four basketball players to ever reach 1000 points in Concordia’s history.
Ryan McLaren was a recipient of the Men’s North first All-Conference Team, and Brett and Ronald Bacon Jr earned All-Conference for the Men’s North Team Two.
On Friday, CUE Thunder versed the host of the Tournament, the Lethbridge Kodiaks; it was a hard-fought game, and the team was able to redeem themselves against the Kodiaks. Brett stated that it was an incredibly satisfying win as they had suffered a rough loss to them in the pre-season.
On Friday, the Thunder faced off against the Lakeland Rustlers, unfortunately losing by ten points. However, they were eager to prove themselves in the Bronze Medal Match against their “true rivals,” NAIT, on Saturday.
Saturday proved to be a highly competitive game, “a nail-biter until the last few minutes,” to quote Bret. Brett also expressed that, as the minutes of the final quarter drained away, he realized it was “one of the most exciting and enjoyable games of my career. The team we were playing was full of familiar faces that I had competed against throughout my time at Concordia.” Concordia beat NAIT to win the Bronze Medal. Brett commented that it was “amazing to end my career on a win and celebrate a Bronze Medal with the team.” Congratulations to the CUE Thunder Men’s Basketball on their accomplishment.
Brett summed up his basketball career by saying he was “very thankful to be given the opportunity to play; I was a redshirt my first year, and Concordia was the only school where I was offered a spot. Through hard work and dedication, I was able to compete amongst some of the most talented athletes in the ACAC league.”
Great job to both teams on their excellent performances for the 2017-18 season. Go Thunder!