Bright future ahead for Hawks basketball despite star departures

Ryan Brockerville
Sports Reporter

It was a spectacular season for Humber women’s basketball. They remained undefeated in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association play — right to the gold medal — and then brought home a second national title in three years.

The Hawks, led by fifth-year seniors Aleena Domingo and Ceejay Nofeunte, dominated the competition.

The team’s historic season saw them set records for points in a season (1,899), three pointers in a season (33.5 per cent) and set an OCAA record with 68 consecutive wins.

That success also led to individual accolades for the Humber players and coaches.

Ceejay Nofuente took home her third straight Player of the Year honours as well as the MVP of the national championship before joining Team Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Head coach Ajay Sharma became the winningest coach in OCAA history this season.

The Hawks must unfortunately now say goodbye to two linchpins in seniors Domingo and Nofuente, as well as stalwart fifth-year players Stephanie Antwi and Beryl Mefful.

So, what can be expected from this team next season?

The simple answer is don’t count the Hawks out. Even without Domingo and Nofuente the Hawks will look to continue its winning ways.

“We are actively recruiting players and looking to add pieces that will help our team,” Sharma said.

The Hawks will look for transfer players from other colleges and universities, as well as recruiting local high school players, he said.

“High school players often need a year or two to adjust to the rigours and academics of the college game,” Sharma said. But the Humber staff will look to work some magic in hopes of finding another “program changing player.”

While the Hawks will look to recruit heavily this offseason it would be unwise to disregard the talent of the remaining roster, he said.

“Aleena and Ceejay left our program in a great place, and the girls who are left know exactly what it takes to be successful in this league,” Sharma said.

The Hawks will have a core of returning players who will take the program into next season and beyond.

“We have six players who can contribute and have a bright future in the OCAA,” said Ray Chateau, director of athletics and recreation.

Chateau said the future is bright as he fully expects players like Miea Campbell-Johnson, Felicia Velasquez, Brittney English and Makeba Taylor to take the next step in their development and play important roles for the Hawks next season.

While it will be hard to replace the veteran presence that is leaving, the program is in a great place, he said.

Look for the Hawks to continue their winning ways next season with a solid core of players returning. Combined with the possibility of new additions, the sky is the limit for an always dangerous Hawks team.

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