The Camosun Chargers women’s basketball team tips off the 2021/22 season at home on Friday, Nov. 5 at 6pm against island rivals, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.
With no competition last season due to COVID-19, the Chargers remained resilient by spending much of the past 18 months in the weight room, practising on the court, and in the gym honing their skills so they would emerge even stronger.
This season, the team welcomes a group of talented rookies in Morgan Boot (Bow Valley High School), Ashyana Kumar (W.J. Mouat Secondary), Reese Manns (Claremont Secondary), Allie Brinton(Lambrick Park Secondary), Allison Bobroske (Lambrick Park Secondary), Tegan Michel (Oak Bay High School), Julia Forsyth (Crescent Heights), and Maren Bilsky (F.H. Collins Secondary).
Chargers women’s basketball Head Coach Justin Thiessen observations about this year’s rookies:
- Boot earned a RBC Own the Podium Scholarship and spent a year training in rowing at the University of Victoria. She’s an incredible athlete with a giant wingspan;
- Kumar is a real baller whose work ethic is second to none and she’s a dead eye shooter;
- Reese is a pure point guard who will some day be a star in the league;
- Allie is an athlete that does things you have to see to believe;
- Allison comes from a family of athletes and has siblings playing sports down south;
- Michel brings all the intangibles that you can’t teach and is an incredibly unselfish high IQ player;
- Julia is a terror on defense; and
- Maren has an incredibly high upside and also comes from a family of professional athletes.
Thiessen adds: “Although we are a young team, as soon as the players gain more confidence and realize how good they are, the Chargers women’s basketball team is looking good for many years.”
Providing leadership are University of Winnipeg transfer, Chelsea Espenberg (Kelowna Secondary), and veteran Maddie Manns (Claremont Secondary) who were selected by their teammates to co-captain the squad.
2019/20 Team Rookie Award recipient Sadie McMillan-Stowards (Oak Bay High) returns to the court along side Boot at centre.
Sisters, Reese and Maddie Manns come from a very talented athletic family (one brother plays collegiate down south and the other plays in the National Lacrosse League) and bring such a fantastic knowledge about the game to the court.
After spending two seasons on the Chargers women’s volleyball team, Mady Hautz (Campbell Collegiate) made the switch to join the basketball team this year. “She has a high IQ, is a great communicator, is very versatile, and flexible,” says Thiessen.
Leading the women’s basketball team is returning Head Coach, Justin Thiessen and Assistant Coaches Abbey Gillette, James Neilson, and Luc van Hanuse. Jordan Smith has also joined the team as their Athletic Therapist.
“The PACWEST league is strong for women’s basketball this season,” adds Thiessen. “It’s entertaining, fast-paced, in-your-face type of basketball.”
Catch the Chargers on Friday, Nov. 5 at their home opener against the VIU Mariners. The women’s team kicks of action at 6:00pm, while the men’s team tips off at 8:00pm. Both games are at the Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence (PISE) at the Interurban campus.